DETOURS (John 6:60-69): 23 August 2009 (Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time)

DETOURS (John 6:60-69): 23 August 2009 (Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Today’s Readings

Dearest Lord Jesus,

It was a heartbreaking scene–that moment when you turned to your disciples after watching all the others go.  “Do you also want to leave?” you asked them, perhaps not without some fear.

I’ve heard you ask me that same question before.  But so often before, unlike your disciples, I didn’t choose to stay.  I chose to stray.  Looking back at my life, I can’t help but see all the detours taken and all the dead ends met.  But the miracle of all miracles is that each time I ran out of roads, I somehow came back to my senses.  Each time, I eventually managed to find my way back–spent and scarred, but also grateful and surprised over the supply of second chances you offered me.  Each time I returned, you forgave this restless rebel.  Each time I showed up at your doorstep, you took in this regular stray.

In each of those times, I could have been Simon Peter when he responded to your question with another:  “Master, to whom shall we go?”   Unfortunately, it never took me too long to pack up my bags and to leave again. Unlike Simon Peter, only after the detours and dead ends have I realized that I really have no one else or nowhere else to go but you.  Unlike him, only after losing my way all those times have I come to see for myself that you alone have the words of eternal life and that you truly are the Holy One of God.

“To whom shall we go?”

Centuries later, Simon Peter’s haunting response continues to question us who alternately fall away from you and fumble after you. How many more times will I go to someone else or for something else?   Please, Lord Jesus, grant me–this time–the grace to stay.  I’ve had my fill of detours.  I’ve long exceeded my quota of dead ends.  I’m tired of being a stray.  Amen.

How about a Quick Prayer for today?

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