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First Reading for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Joshua 24:1-2A, 15-17, 18B

Summary: Joshua challenges Israel to choose their allegiance at Shechem; the people reaffirm their commitment to the LORD, recalling His deliverance and protection throughout their history.

Pledge to Serve the Lord

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges, and their officers. When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people: “If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling.

As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

But the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD for the service of other gods. For it was the LORD, our God, who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, out of a state of slavery. He performed those great miracles before our very eyes and protected us along our entire journey and among the peoples through whom we passed. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”

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