21st Sunday Ordinary Time 2015

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Gospel Reflection for 21st Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – August 23rd 2015

Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.


After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?

‘It is the spirit that gives life,
the flesh has nothing to offer.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit
and they are life.

‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘this is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’

After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him. Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to?
You have the message of eternal life, and we believe;
we know that you are the Holy One of God.’

John 6:60-69


You can remember big and small choices in life. Ones that affected life totally like a job, marriage, retirement, redundancy; having an operation or not..many more. Choices about the children that affected their lives – school, moving house…..

Life is made up of many choices, big and small. Human, spiritual and religious choices.

Go or Stay?
Peter had this sort of choice today. Would he go after Jesus or leave like others did. He stayed and he would have many more attempts at that choice. Why did he stay? Our choices come from something within us. We need Christ within us if we are to follow him.

21B-ChoicesPeter had enough of love for Jesus inside him to make this choice. It might not always be easy and he would give in later but come back. His choice eventually would be to answer Jesus’ question – do you love me?

Choice for Love
The choice for Jesus is the choice for love. In all sorts of ways. For those near at hand. If you choose Jesus then the hunger of the world as well as the tears of a family baby affects you. What we do in love for others comes from the deepest part of life. We need to fill our lives with Christ to be able to share this love in big and small ways .

We need the company of other choosers. The community of faith and of the church. Peter says – to whom shall we go to?

Lord we pray for support and strength in our following of you.

Donal Neary SJ

Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger

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