August 21-22, 2021 Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
The written notes from Fr. Dennis’ Sunday homily. This homily is meant to be heard and not read.
Our Life at the Crossroads?
Ever feel your life is at a crossroads? Certain life situations, Covid, work, nation, church, in a relationship are at that point. How do these moments of crossroads in our life make us a better person? At retirement, how can I live better and fuller with my limits now? How can this political conflict today make me a better American? How can the abuse scandals in our church make me a better priest and Catholic? How can a conflict in a relationship make me a better person? Two roads, Jesus calls us to take the road less taken, that makes all the difference! Commitment is a theme of today’s readings. One of the most difficult things we will ever do is make a commitment at the crossroads or crises?
In the first reading, Joshua and his people commit themselves to serve the Lord their God, “for he it is who delivered us from slavery.” In the gospel, Jesus questions his disciples about their commitment to him: “Do you too want to leave me?” Simon Peter answers: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” We will Step out in faith, hope, and love.
Commitment is based on a promise to do something in the future, not just for today. Even though we cannot foresee the inevitable difficulties that will arise, we promise to find, if possible, solutions to them. By our promise we make it difficult for ourselves to take the easy way out when a crisis comes up, “for better or worse, in sickness and in health – I will love you and honor you all the days of my life – the marriage promises! I have decided to love!
In marriage there will be unavoidable conflicts which a couple cannot anticipate. A marriage commitment to each other is a declaration of mutual determination to overcome all conflicts as they arise.
Commitment requires a response on our part. It is easy to make a promise in a moment of enthusiasm. It is difficult to carry it out when a crisis comes up. Joshua in the Old Testament and the apostles in the New Testament made a commitment to follow the Lord, and so they were ready to make the sacrifices necessary to carry out their promises. How committed are we to the Lord? “Two roads”, how far are we willing to go with him? No turning back! Lord, I will go with you, you alone have the words of eternal life. That commitment has made all the difference!