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Decide today whom you will serve.

Twenty-first Sunday Ordinary Time

August 22, 2021 •

Peter realizes this is the Lord. The Son of God. I don't have to understand what He says, I believe Him. And he humbly submits to this teaching not yet realizing what it means. ...

Ephesians 5: "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." ... "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church and handed Himself over for her to sanctify her. ... So also, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. 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."

The body by its very nature is below the head. Sub-ordinate. Under the authority of, under the mission of .... Notice how Paul keeps emphasizing that the relationship between husband and wife is the same as the relationship between Christ and the Church....

Sarah realized - not that Abraham is God, not that he is the Christ - but that he stands in the person of Christ. In the person of the Lord. So her submission, her obedience, her humility towards her husband was given, not for his sake or because of him, but for the Lord. That's what gave her strength to be humble even when he was proud. To be submissive even when he was arrogant and controlling. Obviously that's not an ideal man and husband.

But if we do it for Christ, then even when we struggle, even when we're not being loved in return in the right way, we'll have the strength to do it. Husbands will die for their wives even when their wives are never subordinate to them. And wives will be subordinate to their husbands even when their husbands never die for them. Why? Because we do this for Christ.

Do we do it because we fully understand it, fully comprehend the mysteries of this design, these rules? No. We do it simply because Jesus says so. ...

This is the design God has placed in our natures for a spousal relationship. All of this in imitation, Paul tell us, of the relationship between Christ and His Church.

And it all comes back to the Eucharist.

You see, the real focus of the readings today is the Eucharist which is in fact the one flesh union between the Bride and the Groom. Between the people of God, and Jesus Christ. ...

This union is most perfectly expressed in Holy Communion, and in the roles that are designated by God for each one of us. And the better we fulfill those roles as husbands and as wives, the more holy the union.

So I challenge you with the words from our first reading today of Joshua to the Israelites:

"If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. "

Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b; Ps 34:2-3, 16-21; Eph :21-32; Jn 6:60-69

Homily begins at 19:20

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