21st Sunday of Year B


We have been trotting on certain roads sure of where we are going. And then, there comes a time of questions, doubts, fears”, writes Father Chama. “and we may find ourselves being swayed by currents. It’s time to renew our choice.”
Fr. Michael Chua



Many believe that a perfect world looks much like a Benetton advertisement. Multicultural children holding hands wearing ethnic clothes singing together in peace and harmony. Wouldn’t it be just wonderful if the world worked that way? How do we get there? There are many today who believe that the answer lies with tolerance.

It is no wonder that tolerance is depicted as the most noble goal in life, the greatest virtue one can possess. Many Christians easily equate tolerance with our Christian idea of mercy. Though there may be similarities, the differences are considerable. Tolerance is seen as the ability to accept the right of others to hold differing opinions, have different lifestyles, and be different from you. It is regarded as the cement that holds together a politically, religiously, economically and ethnically diverse society. In the new religion of Diversity, tolerance has become its paramount dogma. Translated into a working ethos, it issues forth a new commandment that sounds like this – “you must never, ever, speak out against beliefs you disagree with. If you do, you will be labelled as intolerant and hateful.”

Fr. Austin Fleming



Two really big questions staring us right in the face here: Joshua asks his people: Whom are you going to serve? Jesus asks his disciples: Whom are you going to follow? These are questions for us, too, and a good way to get at them  might be to rephrase them just a bit and ask: “Well, whom DO I serve? Whom DO I follow?”

My guess is that most of us serve many masters. The masters we serve are those who become our priority, our focus; those who eat up our time; those who consume our worry, our sweat and our energy; For some , the master is the job; for some, family; for many it’s school. For some it’s a drink or a drug, sports or sex, a wager or the Internet. For others their master is their fear, anxiety, greed, envy, grief, loneliness or guilt. And most of us, whether we have a lot of it or just a little, most of us are servants of money. We all have many masters, and our masters have a leash on us and often manage our lives in ways we don’t even notice.

DEACON Frederick Bauerschmidt



Today’s readings seem almost tailor-made for this moment in the Church’s life. In the Gospel, many of those hearing Jesus’ words are offended and walk away: “many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we hear of Christ’s love for the Church,
“cleansing her by the bath of water with the word… that she might be holy and without blemish.” In our first reading, Joshua challenges the Israelites: “decide today whom you will serve,” and we hear them reaffirm their commitment to God: “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord for the service of other gods.” It might seem that the obvious message today would be an exhortation to stay committed to the Church, to not walk away and return to your former way of life, to not lose hope in the face of past and present scandals but to trust in God’s power to cleanse and purify the Church who despite all the sin and betrayal remains Christ’s beloved bride.,…
Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr



This Sunday’s readings send me back to the choice I have made in my life; most especially to check how I’m living them out. I suppose, you too, you have made several choices in your life. How are you living them? Let’s profit from this Sunday and see how we can gain a new momentum in living fully our choices.

If we do the recap of chapter 6 of the Gospel according to John, that we have been reading the past few Sundays, it all began with the multiplication of five bread and two fish and over five thousand persons ate to their satisfaction, and there were leftovers. Excited, the people thought of Jesus as the promised messiah, so why hesitate? They wanted to make him their king. Euphoria! Jesus sneaked away, but the people went searching for him. Realising that they had missed the point of this gesture, Jesus took time to explain. His intention was not just to give bread for the bellies, but he was himself the bread from heaven who came to give lasting life, by his own body and bread. Intolerable!

Fr. Chama’s homily is divided into the following sections:

From Euphoria to Deception
This is Inaceptable.
Choice Founded on Trust in Jesus
Go Back to Your Sichem

Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino



 In the second book of his science fiction trilogy, Perelandra, C. S. Lewis presents a Paradise being tempted by evil.  But instead of painting a lush Garden of Eden, as the Book of Genesis paints, C. S. Lewis presents a planet with a huge sea on which there are floating islands.  The waves on that planet are so large that the floating islands go up and down with the swell.  Sometimes an entire island is on the bottom of the swell and the ocean is a wall.  Anyone on the island would not be able to see anything other than the island or the sea.  Sometimes an entire island is on top of the waves, and an inhabitant of the island cold look out and see the world just as someone here on earth might see the world from the top of Pike’s Peak or Mount Everest. Everything on Perelandra is beautiful.  There are dolphin like fish in the sea that spout water the colors of the rainbow. The floating islands are lush and   green. The fruit on the islands is so delicious that the first inclination one has after he or she takes a bite, is to eat some and then pick and hoard as much as possible.

Related Homilies

John 6 Part 5: The Choice is Ours (2015)




Today’s readings could not be possibly more dramatic — or more relevant for us. They bring us face-to-face with the fact that each of us, like the Israelites in Shechem and the disciples in Capharnaum, are called to make a choice, a choice for or against the God who has already chosen us, for or against the God who created us, loved us from the beginning, revealed himself to us, save us over and over again, sent his only Son to die for us, blessed us in innumerable ways and prepared a place for us in heaven. In theory, the choice is simple: Who would choose against God? But in practice, such a choice is challenging and hard, because by its nature, it demands fidelity each day, in each decision, in all the various aspects of our life. Today’s readings are a gift to help us to choose well.

Fr. George Smiga



Do we follow Christ out of obligation or out of self-interest? It’s surprising to note that we follow Christ for both reasons. Christ is our Master and Lord, and so the things that he teaches us are things that we as disciples are obliged to obey. Yet, we would be seriously misled to imagine that the teachings of Christ are some arbitrary set of rules set out to measure our fidelity. Christ’s teachings are not some hurdle that we are meant to jump over or some obstacle that we are meant to get around. In fact, the very things that Christ asks us to do are the means to goodness and joy. Christ does not direct us to do one thing or another just to make our lives difficult, but rather so that we might become whole and healthy people. The teachings of Jesus are given to us for our own good.

When I was in the fifth grade my teacher was Sr. Philomena and she had a very strong interest in promoting the scapular. I don’t know if all of you know what a scapular is. It is a religious article that you wear like a medal, but it’s made out of cloth in order to mirror the habit of a religious brother or sister. There are different kinds of scapulars, but Sr. Philomena was particularly attached to the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. She told us that Mary had promised St. Simon Stock that those who wore the scapular would never die without first having access to a priest who could hear their confession and forgive them of their sins.




I love when I walk into houses and sometimes it is sad because you see this in a lot of Protestant houses, but I don’t see it in a lot of Catholic houses. You know, here is Joshua. Now Joshua of course is there in the First Reading. Moses is dead. And all the Commandments have been given and not just the Ten Commandments but all the Commandments of Leviticus, all these things are out there. And so you know Joshua just has had it. And he goes and calls all the assembly together and says, “Listen, choose now. Choose. If you want to serve the Balaam and those other gods, go for it. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And so often, they even have door markers that say that, you know. Or if you walk into a house and it is the first thing you see when you walk into someone’s house, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We come and explicitly say this is what this house does. This is what this family does. We serve, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” And of course the way you serve the Lord is by serving each other. By giving your life.

Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ



Clearly there is a hierarchical context for Paul’s words to the Ephesians. Christ is compared to the husband, the church to the wife. The man is the head; the woman the body. This analogy has been acclaimed by some, who want to legitimate the privileged imaging of the male for Christ. But it has been roundly condemned by others, who see it as a devaluation of women. Both positions are worth examining, but what is the real theme of the Ephesians text? “Subordination” and “reverence” are its context. All the rest is application. We must all defer to and revere one another. Then Paul provides applications that may or may not be historically bound.

But it is subordination we have trouble with, “submission.” It sticks in the craw. Why should any of us have to submit to another or put someone else first? What is worse, Paul seems to commend obedience only to the woman. He tells the wives to be submissive. What about the men?

Fr. Eugene Lobo, S.J.



Faith, a gift of God, serves to lift up our soul and spirit above material and corporeal contingencies. It is to this supernatural attitude that Jesus tries to lead his disciples. Faith is a supernatural virtue which resides in our intellect: faith requires some human support, that of our human knowledge, a knowledge which may consist of simple ideas, but which is often made up of more or less elaborate judgments. Faith is always a matter of choice. We choose to believe in persons, in institutions, in values and causes. All our real and good relationships, our good commitments arise out of such choices. This process of faith invariably involves certain amount of risk. To believe in nothing and go ahead as if nothing exists is the end of the path and thus a type of death. Our life in order to progress demands a risk of each one of us. We read in the book of Joshua today that he invites the tribe of Israel to choose faith and commitment to each other and to God. Their passage from slavery to freedom is well in the past and new generations need to make this story their own. They are given now a challenge by Joshua to reconsider their common history and recommit to their faith in the new land. In the Gospel we have Peter who makes the choice and the commitment on behalf of the disciples in a time of change and tension. He sees the wavering of their faith and commitment to Jesus and moving away from him and speaks boldly on behalf of the twelve of their loyalty and faith in him. In the second reading Paul tells the members of the church to be subordinate to one another. The directive is especially realized in the mutual love of spouses in marriage.

21st Sunday of Year B



YouTube player
Rev. Lee Fangmeyer(Pastor, Mother Seton Parish – Germantown, Maryland) preaching homily for 21st Sunday in Ordinary time on August 26, 2018 in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington DC.

Sunday Homilies

AUGUST 22, 2021 | AUGUST 26, 2018 | AUGUST 23, 2015 | AUGUST 26, 2012 | AUGUST 23, 2009

21st Sunday of Year B

Cardinal Tagle
YouTube player



Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
YouTube player



Today the Gospel we come to the concluding verses of the Bread of life discourse which has been our Sunday Gospels for some weeks now. After the somewhat hard talk of Jesus about his Body and blood, some disciples saw it as controversial and intolerable and some left. To the question ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to?’ The wise response of Peter shows the raison d’etre of our being in this world. In our early catechism classes we were asked: Who made you? The response we memorized was “God Made me”. The next question was “why did God make you” we answered “God made me to love him….and that we should be happy with him forever”. Saint Augustine understood this well when he said : thou has created us o Lord and our souls are restless until they rest in you.

In the first reading from Joshua 24:1-2,15-18 Joshua took the pains of telling the people to choose whom they were to serve. The people also gave the wise response that ‘We have no intention of deserting the Lord and serving other gods! The reading ends beautifully with they taking the firm resolution : We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’ They had seen the marvelous things the Lord had done for them. They indeed as the Psalmist will say had tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord.

We are challenged today in the Gospel to come back and serve the Lord because He alone has the message of eternal life. The world today proposes other lords like money, power, pleasure, intelligence, science. The moment we begin to relegate God and send him away from our lives then we are keeping ourselves from eternal life which only God can give.. We live in a world with its challenges especially when family life is concerned. Lack of understanding among spouses, children who are into drugs or other sorrowful situations, lack of job etc: In such a situation, we must learn to live in love as Christ Loved us in our families and in everything we do. May we always learn to put God first and not be tempted to go away from him especially during difficult moments.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
Please pray for me

Jeff Cavins
YouTube player



John Michael Talbot
YouTube player



21st Sunday of Year B

Bishop Robert Barron

YouTube player

Photo above will be replaced by video when sermon is available. Check below for a list of Bishop’s most recent sermons.


Sunday Podcasts


by Bishop Robert Barron . August 26, 2018 .

In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus’ followers reacting to his shocking teaching about eating his flesh and drinking his blood by saying, “This is a hard saying; who can accept it?” To understand Jesus’ meaning, we must understand that he’s not using symbolic or metaphorical language. He’s speaking words of “Spirit and life” which bring into being precisely what they signal.


by Bishop Robert Barron . August 26, 2012

The Lord Jesus is not speaking metaphorically about eating his flesh and drinking his blood – he has come to make of his own Body and Blood real food and drink. This revelation was and continues to be a stumbling block for many, but the faithful accept the mystery of the gift of Christ’s Real Presence that is given to the Church in the Blessed Sacrament.


by Bishop Robert Barron . August 23, 2009

The Book of Joshua provokes us to consider one of the most important questions of the spiritual life- whom will you serve? Will it be the Lord or some other concern? Making something finite the ultimate concern of one’s life is a grave spiritual predicament. Only is the Lord is ultimate and it is only when we recognize this truth that the other concerns of our life can be properly ordered and become spiritually fruitful.


by Bishop Robert Barron . August 27, 2006

The Eucharist has been, from the beginning, a source of conflict and division. This is, of course, not Christ’s will, for the eucharist is supposed to be the great unifier. Nevertheless, for the past two thousand years, the radical doctrine of the real presence has compelled some to rebel. Why is this? Take a listen.

Recent Podcasts

[podcastplayer feed_url=’’ number=’12’ accent_color=’#000′ display_style=”legacy” hide_header=”true”] [/podcastplayer]

21st Sunday of Year B

Father Frank Pavone
YouTube player



Watch a video with homily hints


The apostles “have come to believe and are convinced” that Jesus is the Son of God. Therefore, even if they don’t understand his words about “eating his flesh and drinking his blood,” they know he is trustworthy. There is, indeed, no evidence here that these words made any more sense to Peter and the other apostles than they did to the ones who turned away. But as St. Thomas Aquinas would write centuries later in the hymn “Adoro Te Devote,” “What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do. Truth himself speaks truly, or there’s nothing true.”

Faith is not totally blind. It begins with “motives of credibility.” In other words, we have solid reasons for believing the One we believe – we don’t just trust anyone who comes along and says he has a message from God. But once we have those solid reasons, then the trust we place in that person leads us to knowledge that reason alone could never reach.

The Church, moreover, does not reject “freedom of choice,” properly understood. God demands that we choose, as Joshua told the people (First reading) and as the hearers of Jesus did. Yet when we choose for God, those choices have corollaries and consequences. Choosing God in fact means choosing life. Pope Benedict told the Roman clergy on March 2, 2006: “Choosing life, taking the option for life, therefore, means first and foremost choosing the option of a relationship with God. However, the question immediately arises: with which God? Here, once again, the Gospel helps us: with the God who showed us his face in Christ, the God who overcame hatred on the Cross, that is, in love to the very end. Thus, by choosing this God, we choose life.”

We choose again in the Eucharist. Coming to Communion, we are renewing our fundamental choice to serve God, to believe Christ, to live as the Church teaches. The Church does not propose “maybes” to us, but certainties, by which we then find the strength to do what Paul describes in the second reading: to give ourselves away for each other. He speaks of a mutual subordination and self-giving love of husband to wife. The Church by no means degrades women, but rather sees them as a symbol of the Church herself, the bride of Christ. All in the Church are called to the self-giving love that Christ lived.


General Intercessions

Celebrant: As brothers and sisters in Christ who trust in God’s wisdom and love, we present our prayers and petitions for the needs of the world.


That the Church may be ever-grateful for the gift of faith and may ever grow and respond to the word of God proclaimed in the Gospels, we pray to the Lord.

That the pope and all the clergy may bring the faithful to a deeper knowledge and love of God through their preaching and teaching, we pray to the Lord.

That government leaders may exercise their authority and power in ways that show compassion to those who are underprivileged and suffering, we pray to the Lord.

That we may echo Peter’s profession of faith, that Christ is indeed the Son of God and the alone has dominion over the precious gift of human life, we pray to the Lord.

That those who are suffering from the effects of war and violence may receive God’s peace and the help and strength to rebuild their lives, we pray to the Lord.

That those who have died may be welcomed into God’s heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord.

Celebrant: Loving Father, as you hear and answer our prayers, grant that we may know and accept your loving will in our lives.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

All or nothing

Al Carino

Let us pray that peoples and their governments will always be on the side of life (pro life) rather than on the side of death (pro choice) vis-a-vis the moral issues related to the “right to choose”, because like the twelve apostles, we have made Peter’s words also our own, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Do You Also Want to Leave?

Frank Enderle

There continue to be people in the world today who find that the teachings of Christ are hard. Many even them refuse even to believe in Jesus. It could be that, sometimes, we also have moments of doubt and of crisis in our faith. If we have moments of incertitude, we should ask ourselves, as Saint Peter did, “To whom can we go?”

Rights and Responsibilities

Frank Enderle

Christianity will flourish when people come to realize that we are a welcoming, kind and accepting community. There will only be peace in our communities when we can act humbly without trying to impose our own will on others, in a word, when we stop trying to dominate everyone and everything.

A Time to Choose

Antonio P. Pueyo

Choosing Jesus and living according to His way is more than just waiting for a future heaven to come. It is to make heaven present at the now moment. Christian living becomes more challenging and exciting if we see life as bringing some bit of heaven on earth.

It’s all about Christ!

Douglas P. McManaman

The faith of the Church is expressed in Peter’s words: “To whom shall we go?” If Christ is God, then there is no one to whom we can go who has anything but a human word and a passing life to impart. Outside of Christ, there is nothing, nowhere to go. Wherever you have the Church, you have that faith; for that is the faith of the Church. website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

21st Sunday of Year B

Laudato Si’ – POPE FRANCIS
Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start . . . No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in
our hearts. (205)

Click to access 21st_OT_B_8-22-21.pdf

©2020 Catholic Climate Covenant Resources. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *