Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B / Sunday, August 22, 2021

This Sunday’s Readings: 

Joshua 24:1–2a, 15–17, 18b

Psalm 34:2–3, 16–17, 18–19, 20–21 (9a)

Ephesians 5:21–32 or 5:2a, 25–32

John 6:60–69

FIVE SUNDAYS AGO, THE CROWD WANTED TO MAKE JESUS KING. Now, most of those who have stayed through his long sermon about bread from heaven and eating and drinking his own flesh and blood are calling it quits. “This is too hard,” they grumble. “It was better when he just gave us food. Why does he have to say all this other nonsense?”

Note, Jesus was preaching to his disciples in the synagogue (John 6:59–60). It’s his disciples, not some random crowd, who’ve become tired of him. His shocking statements and his long, tedious mission are not what they signed up for.

Jesus here is the patron of all who have the courage to preach, write, and say the hard stuff even if it means losing your followers. Those who risk being unpopular by giving people what they need instead of what they want. Those who are in it for the long road of conversion paved with simple acts of bravery, boldness, and self-sacrifice.

Our eucharistic “Amen” is saying yes to the hard things of discipleship; yes to sticking with one another even when others leave. The Eucharist binds and emboldens us together in Christ, who feeds us with the words of eternal life. Pray for me as I pray for you that we may speak with conviction in the Holy One of God.

–Diana Macalintal

Suggested Music

GIA Hymnal Suggestions
WLP Resource Suggestions

Choral Suggestions:

Come, Taste and See

Chris de Silva

G-7062 · Cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, opt. string quartet

Many Are the Afflictions

M. Roger Holland II

G-7308 · SATB

Taste, that Your Eyes May Be Opened

Stephen C. Warner and Jennifer Wells

G-10216 · SATB, assembly, keyboard, guitar, various instruments


“I taste your word and it sustains me. Your will is honey for my soul.”  

There’s a strange new series streaming on Netflix, based on a comic book, called “Sweet Tooth.” It’s about a young boy named Gus who is half human and half deer and the journey he takes to find out where he came from. His nickname, “Sweet Tooth,” comes from his love of all things sweet and sugary. Early on, you see how he sustains himself on maple syrup when left on his own, too soon. Sweet things like syrup or honey not only taste good and make us happy but can provide almost instant energy to face what’s ahead. Honey, in particular, has both nutritional and medicinal properties. God’s Word and God’s Law do the same. They sustain us. They bring us joy. They heal us. They give us the strength we need to live and to love and make our way in this world on the way back home to God. How sweet is that? 

–Jennifer Odegard

Jesus, Lead the Way

Arr. Richard Proulx

G-5370 · SATB, organ, opt. brass quartet

We Turn to Christ Anew

Ian Kellam

G-4476 · SATB, organ

More choral suggestions for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time…


Alle, Alle John Angotti Three-part choir, descant, cantor, assembly, guitar, keyboard 008254

Christ, Our Bread of Life, from Behold the Lamb of God: Seven Eucharistic Ostinatos Alan J. Hommerding SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard 005287

Commit Your Way to the Lord  Liebhold, ed. Edward W. Klammer SATB G-2898

El Amor de Dios/God’s Love Is Everlasting: Salmo 136/135 Lourdes C. Montgomery Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, guitar, keyboard 012649

El Señor Es Compasivo: Salmo 103/102 (bilingual) Peter Kolar Unison choir, descants, cantor, assembly, flute, guitar, keyboard 012670

 Gusten y Vean: Salmo 34/33 (bilingual) Pedro Rubalcava SATB, cantor, assembly, piano, guitar 012676

Lord, to Whom Shall We Go  Michael Joncas SATB, cantor, assembly, organ, opt. various instruments G-3244

Make of Our Hands a Throne  Steven C. Warner Two-part mixed choir, descant, assembly, opt. C instrument, 2 violins, cello, guitar, keyboard 007273

O Taste and See That the Lord Is Good J. Gerald Phillips SATB, assembly, organ 008613

Something Beautiful John Angotti, Jim Kenna, & Chris Lock Three-part choir, cantor, assembly, guitar, keyboard 008092

Taste, O Taste and See: Psalm 34 John D. Becker Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, guitar, keyboard 006239