August 23, 2015 — Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jos 24: 1-2A, 15-18; Ps 34: 2-3, 16-21; Eph 5: 21-32; Jn 6: 60-69
It is reported in the Old Testament Books of Exodus and Numbers that Joshua succeeded Moses as the leader of the Israelites. In fact, Joshua is explained as Moses’ assistant, while Moses himself led the Israelites. Our First Reading today from the Book of Joshua recounts how, under Joshua, the Israelites renewed their Covenant with God.
For those who practice stewardship as a way of life, both renewal and covenant are significant. We speak of conversion in relation to the commitments we make to live as God-centered and loving people. Yet, there are times when it is important to personally renew our promises to God and to make a new covenant with the Lord.
Many parishes have an annual stewardship renewal during which people are given the opportunity to “renew” their involvements in prayer, in ministry, and in giving through the offertory. These “renewals” may involve a commitment or pledge card. This is what has occurred in the Church for centuries. It is vital that we revisit our assurances to the Lord.
As Joshua addresses the people in today’s reading, he states, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” This quote is relatively familiar in the Christian world. Yet, this is exactly the kind of pledge and covenant each of us needs to make.