DAILY MASS READINGS (August 26, 2018)

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (CYCLE B, Green)

 

Reading 1 (JOSHUA 24:1-2A, 15-17, 18B)

A reading from the Book of Joshua

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
summoning their elders, their leaders,
their judges, and their officers.
When they stood in ranks before God,
Joshua addressed all the people:
“If it does not please you to serve the LORD,
decide today whom you will serve,
the gods your fathers served beyond the River
or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”But the people answered,
“Far be it from us to forsake the LORD
for the service of other gods.
For it was the LORD, our God,
who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt,
out of a state of slavery.
He performed those great miracles before our very eyes
and protected us along our entire journey
and among the peoples through whom we passed.
Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”
– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21)

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Many are the troubles of the just one,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him;
he watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2 (EPHESIANS 5:21-32 OR 5:2A, 25-32)

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.orBrothers and sisters:
Live in love, as Christ loved us.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

– The word of the Lord.

 

Alleluia (JOHN 6:63C, 68C)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (JOHN 6:60-69)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending
to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life,
while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said,
“For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
– The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: On this Sunday, we close the soap opera series about the Bread of Life Discourse (John 6). Last July 29, the crowds have been attracted to our Lord Jesus Christ because of the loaves and fish he multiplied, which were shared by the young boy. Last August 5, they noticed his absence at the mountain, so they sailed on boats looking for him in Capernaum, and they found him and his disciples. They asked him a sign to show that they should strengthen their faith, and he openly declared to them as the Bread of Life. Now what happened on August 12 is their murmuring reactions to the statement of Jesus that he came down from heaven. Christ affirms his discourse by declaring himself as the Living Bread whom they should partake, and they have life forever. And the intense reaction  last August 19 is that the crowds thought he wants them to act as cannibals and eat his physical body. But he assures them that anyone who eats his Flesh and drinks his Blood remains in him and will have life forever. This pertains that they are to believe in his words and obey the will of the Father, especially in the present context that we are called to recognize Jesus’ real sacramental presence in the Eucharist. Now this Sunday closes the soap opera series with the close followers of Christ who are now “formerly close to him”. It is hard for them to accept his teaching that he is the Bread of eternal life that came down from heaven, and anyone who partakes of his Flesh and Blood will live forever. Now he confronts them by asking them if they want to give up. It is like they’re assuring he’ll show a sign to prove the validity of his teachings , such as what he mentioned if they want to see him, the Son of Man, ascend to where he has gone before. He tells them that the words he teach are Spirit and life, wherein if one believes in his words will have everlasting life. But this led to the departure of many of his disciples because they couldn’t accept his words. Now Jesus turns to his 12 close associates, the Apostles, and asks them if they also want to go away. But Simon Peter, the Chief Apostle, replies by assuring him that he has the words of eternal life, and they have believed in them and him who is the Son of God. The First Reading tells the story of Moses’ successor, Joshua, on how he continues the work of his predecessor in leading the chosen people of God to the Promised Land. At Shechem, he tells the covenant that the Lord has made to Moses, that they are the people of Yahweh, and he is their God. He tells them that his family and he will worship the Lord, then the people replies that they will also worship and serve only the one and true God. Our life as Christians finds its meaning in God. It is he who gives us life by his Spirit, that we may strive to obey his divine will by listening to his Word, and that is Jesus Christ. It is very difficult for many others who are closely attached to other earthly goods that they cannot find consolation in the words of our Lord, that in the midst of their satisfactions in life, they should always place their faith in the One who is the source of all blessings. It is the same with us that in spite of our successes and failures in life, we should continue to strengthen our faith in the Lord and strive to be obedient to his will. The Second Reading reminds us as members of the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, we should be humbly submit ourselves before him. And in the case of married life, wives are called to be subordinate to their husbands, and husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. Spouses are called to live their bond meaningfully as that of a covenant wherein it is lasting with mutual affection, and not that of a mere transaction. So after listening and reflecting to the whole discourse of Jesus about the Bread of Life, let us continue to nourish our spiritual life by believing in him who is the Bread who feeds us with his life especially sacramentally present in the Holy Eucharist and listen to his teachings and live them in word and deed.

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