The First Reading
Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b
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.”
I had no faith. I prayed for faith. I was given an unshakeable faith.
I was frustrated and impatient with life, my husband and my children. I prayed for patience. And now somehow I manage to remain calm in the midst of insanity most of the time.
God has blessed me with a devoted husband, five healthy children, and a comfortable life beyond what I deserve. I have seen miracles worked before my eyes, from my “miracle baby” born with a true knot in his embilical cord to the closing of the hole in another son’s heart.
What other god could I serve? Like Joshua and the Israelites, I must serve the Lord, for He is my God.
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.”
I praise the Father for answering my prayer and drawing me to Him. Jesus’ words are hard, but, like Simon Peter, I ask myself where else can I go? his words are Spirit and life. The choice is clear.
Eph 5:21-32 or 5:2a, 25-32
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.
It was much easier to obey the Lord’s order to subordinate myself to my husband once I had committed to serving Him. What allegience would that be if I could choose the times and places that suited me to serving Him? It was also much easier for me to subordinate myself when I trusted my husband to love me and cherish me and always seek what was best for me.
Like Joshua, Moses asked the Israelites to make a choice: life or death? I, too, choose life!