Saturday, August 22, 2015

We Will Serve the Lord

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Phil Russell

Joshua addressed all the people (the Tribes of Israel at Shechem): “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.”

“But the PEOPLE answered, “Far be it from us to forsake The Lord, for the service of other gods…for it was The Lord who brought us out of a state of SLAVERY...Therefore we also will serve The Lord, for he is our God.” (Joshua 24:15-18)

“Taste and see the goodness of The Lord.” The Lord is closer to the brokenhearted; and those crushed in spirit he saves.” (Psalm 34:9,19)

“This saying is hard; “I am living bread come down from Heaven, whoever eats it will live forever.” [From last Sunday's Gospel] “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?  We have come to BELIEVE and we are CONVINCED that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69)

So, I have this internal jukebox that always seems to be playing, in my 
mind. The song that is playing in all this is from the Broadway Musical “Damn Yankees.”  It's called “Heart.” “You gotta have heart, miles and miles of heart.” Goes the song.  But the story is an interesting one!  About a middle-aged guy, Joe Boyd who is a diehard fan of the losing Washington Senators Baseball team. (As a kid, I remember going to a few of those ball games at Griffith Stadium.) Joe would sell his soul for the Senators to beat the New York Yankees and win the pennant. Enters Mr. Applegate (the Devil), who offers to turn Joe into Joe Hardy, a powerful young baseball player, in exchange for his soul.  When Boyd agrees, he becomes Hardy and leads the Senators on a winning streak.  When Joe Boyd starts to miss his wife, though, and questions the deal, Applegate sends the temptress, Lola into the mix. How did it go for Joe?

It's an old age story of human nature. Selling out. But to whom? Will it be Jesus or, will it be “Applegate?”

Joshua, put it out there before the Tribes and they chose. To follow.
However, in the Gospel account we see that there were those who, returned to “their former life.”

In my experience of “Breaking Open the Word,” what did I hear?  What did it mean to me?  And what am I going to do with it? 

It is so easy to often be swayed by the winds of the culture, or the crowd or just maybe...The deal with “Applegate!”  I love the name.  Notice it's an APPLE!

Whom will you SERVE?  What will you EAT? 

“This saying is hard, who can accept it?” said the many. And Jesus still says, to our murmuring hearts; “Does this shock you?”

Lord Jesus help us to respond as did Joshua; “WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!”

Give us HEARTS that remain STRONG and STEADFAST!

“You have the words of eternal life.” John 6


No comments: