This week is all about choices. On the one hand there is the choice to abandon our devotion to God and God’s ways. In the Gospel, many of Jesus’ followers find his call to be completely united with him – to believe that he is the source of life and to take him into their beings (eating his flesh and drinking his blood) – too much to handle and they abandon Jesus.
But, his disciples, although they may be feeling like they want to go, recognise that life is found in Christ and so remain faithful.
Linked with our choice to follow Jesus there is a call to prayer in this week’s scripture readings.
In the famous passage from Ephesians, Paul calls the believers to prepare themselves for the attacks of evil by putting on God’s armour (making a choice to stay faithful), and he calls them to prayer for themselves and for him as he seeks to spread the Gospel.
In the Old Testament semi-continuous reading, Solomon prays and pleads with God to hear and answer the prayers of all who pray toward the Temple.
The theme this week is simple and clear: everyday we will be faced with the choice to remain faithful to Christ or to turn away, and we will need the intimacy with God that comes through prayer and through sharing in the life of Christ to remain true to our calling.
In a world where religion is being questioned and falling out of fashion, and in which many parts of the Church are in decline, this choice, and the call to prayer, are as important as ever.