The life-giving bread

August 22, 2021

The words we hear today are the words of eternal life. They are the same words that Jesus spoke to His disciples over 2000 years ago that, He is “the life-giving bread”. They are the same words spoken by Joshua to the assembly of the children of Israel gathered at Shechem: “Decide who you shall worship. As for me and my family we shall worship the Lord”. Do you worship the God of Israel who has provided all your needs, led you to cross the Red Sea, brought you out of the land of slavery in Egypt, fed you with manna in the desert, and settled you in the land that He promised? Or do you worship the gods of the Amorites, with eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear? The choice is yours! One of the remarkable things in this Sunday’s readings, especially the first reading and the gospel, is that God is always offering us options from which we must choose. It underscores one of our greatest attributes and, indeed, our greatest endowment as human beings, that we enjoy the gift of freedom from our creator. This freedom, though, is such that can be used or abused. Although God never fails to indicate, and in unmistakable terms, what His will for us is, He, nonetheless, never takes away from us the freedom to choose. Yet, whatever choice(s) we end up making, there are consequences. In the midst of competing choices, and several courses of action available to us on any given day, good and bad, moral and immoral, Saint Paul enjoins us, like a true ambassador of Christ, to live in love, as Christ loved us. There could not be a greater or better way of pointing us in the direction of God’s will. To live in love is to be patient, kind, compassionate, forgiving, merciful, meek and, in a nutshell, “to be holy as your heavenly father is holy”. The pursuit of holiness must be our individual and collective aspirations as children of God on a journey to our homeland with the father. As we make our numerous daily choices, we pray that we are guided by the Spirit of knowledge, wisdom and good counsel, to choose only those things which are pleasing to the father, for the salvation of our souls. Amen.

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