Do you want to leave?

Welcome to the holy place of spirit and life! Welcome to the temple of God’s holy one!

When we need a new strength for our living – to whom shall we go?
When we seek the orientation in front of hard questions of life and death – to whom shall we go?
When we want to joyfully express our gratitude and praise God’s goodness – to whom shall we go?

Welcome, my brothers and sisters! Today we come to our Lord Jesus Christ who loved the church. He gave himself up for the Church – for us.

Welcome – because you are the living evidence of God’s power, you are the living evidence that the words of Jesus are true. If you come to Jesus – as you do now – it is granted you by the Father.

Jesus makes difference. He is so unlike our marketing and political campaigns. When he realizes that his followers are murmuring in protest, he does not change the subject. He is not trying to please their ears with other interpretation and new statements. He is inviting to make one’s own choice.

His talk is hard to endure until today because it shakes the fundaments of our selfishness and injustice. He is the faithful and the confident One: He promised to give his own life and he did it – in his teaching and healing, in the miracles of food, in his body and blood on the cross and in his resurrection.

The religion means not to take something for granted or to believe in strange and extraordinary things. Peter gives very good explanation for our spirituality: We have to come to our own personal, reasonable and emotional, conviction. We can achieve it
by means of experience,
by means of the time spent together with Him we want to trust – this is the time of prayer and contemplation
by means of getting to know him better and deeper. He must show us that he deserves our trust.

The apostles have come to believe during the days with their Lord and Master. They have seen the deeds, they have heard the words. Out of their free reasoning and decision they are convinced that He is God’s holy one. They come so far that they can trust him and rely upon him. This is the purpose of the religious practice.

It was the same with the people of God gathered with Joshua. They have experienced that the Lord, their God, brought them up out of a state of slavery. They witnessed the great miracles. Out of their own history they come to the decision to have faith.

Jesus respects the freedom of the apostles. If they want, they are free to leave. This is the mystery of God’s appreciation and respect for us – his creation. Let us give a proper answer to such love! Amen.

To our God who is granting us freedom to take part in the mystery of salvation, let us pray with confidence

Let us pray for Benedict our pope, for bishops, priests and all the Church
May we always carefully listen to your words of eternal life
Let us pray for those responsible in our governments
May they give an example of encouraging leadership for the people

Let us pray for the married couples, for our moms and dads:
May they find new inspiration for their love in Christ’s care for the Church

Let us pray for us gathered in this Eucharist
Lord, grant us nourishment for our faith and let us once more discover the spirit that gives life

Let us pray for all who went to the Father
May they eternally enjoy the vision of the Son of Man ascended to where he was before

B Sunday 21
Jos 24,1-2;15-17.18
Eph 5,21-32
Jn 6,60-69

3rd August 2009

Fr. Niko Bilić SJ