God wants us for His own – we have only to want Him in return
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 26, 2018): JOS 24:1-2,15-17,18; PS 34: 2-3,16-17,18-19,20-21; EPH 5:21-32 or 5:2,25-32; JN 6:60-69
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today’s first reading from the Old Testament recalls how Joshua, the successor to Moses as leader of the tribes of Israel, brought them into the Promised Land.
He wanted them to understand that they must choose for themselves what they believed and whom they believed in. The people of various nations around them worshipped different gods. Joshua asked them to confirm their faith in the Lord who had rescued them from Egypt – or not. “Joshua addressed all the people: ‘If it is displeasing to you to serve the Lord, choose today whom you will serve.… As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord’” (Joshua 24:2,15).
The Jewish people made their decision and reconfirmed that they would serve the Lord. Yet, it is a choice that they had to make, not once, but again and again, and demonstrate by the way they lived out their belief. Peter and the Apostles also made a decision to follow Christ. Everyone Almighty God creates has decisions to make. Because He gives us free will we must make up our own minds whether or not to embrace the gift of faith. We have to decide to serve the Lord or to serve another: the world, the devil, ourselves. Our Lord will always be there for us – we just have to want Him, to choose Him for ourselves.
Suggested missionary action: Consider having a special family prayer, perhaps at dinner together. Thanks God for the gift of faith and the joy of serving Him and helping His people in His Name.