Twenty-First Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Aug 28, 2018



26 August 2018


This weekend we complete a six week series of readings from John,

slipped into the Marcan cycle because Mark’s gospel is shorter than Matthew or Luke.

Throughout the past six weeks we have watched the rise and fall of Jesus in popular opinion.

The crunch comes today after the large crowds have already given up on him,

will the disciples, his intimates also break away from him?

Can you imagine how heart-breaking it must have been for Jesus

to ask the question of Peter and the Twelve:  Do you want to leave me as well?

Have I so disappointed you, that you would go your own way?

Jesus risks so much, even by asking the question.

But, he will not have anyone his follower who does not choose to be so.

The evangelist John gives us an insight, at least by implication of the two kinds of people who stay.

1.  There is Peter.  Peter who does not, and probably never will understand Jesus totally.

    So Peter who in his usual brash manner says:  I stay.

    There is something deeply felt about his response:  “Where else would we go?

Come hell or high water we are in this with you.”

2.  Then there is Judas, whom the evangelist will not even dignify by giving his name,

he only says, “the one who would hand him over.”

    Judas stays, but he stays going through the motions only.

    He does not give his heart over to Jesus.

    Judas is characterized as that careful Christian who goes along with everything

                         unless it begins to cost him something or change something in them.

    Then it’s time to bail out.

What reaches beyond this interchange of Jesus with his intimates to this time in place is the same question:  “Will you stay?”

Now you and I will probably stay, we have through it this far, we’ll stay.

The question is however, “How will we stay?”

Giving our heart over, willing to give our heart over,

or just going through the motions until it costs us something?