The Gospel according to Shania

I always liked Shania Twain, although I’ve never been that much of a country music fan. But today’s readings had all the makings of a classic country western tune, and it happened to be one written by Shania Twain: “Dance with the One Who Brought You.”

I never heard of this song before today’s mass, but I knew that expression in its title. When I got home, I Googled it and it brought up Shania’s song. I’ll give you the chorus. See if it doesn’t match the theme of today’s readings perfectly:

You got to dance with the one that brought you
Stay with the one that wants you
The one who’s gonna love you when all of the others go home
Don’t let the green grass fool you
Don’t let the moon get to you
Dance with the one that brought you and you can’t go wrong

God has always given his creatures a choice of masters, but the wise ones in his creation have always stuck with him. In today’s first reading from the Book of Joshua, the prophet says “If serving God seems a bad thing to you, today you must make up your minds whom you do mean to serve, whether the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now living.”

Then in the Gospel, after Jesus tells the people “This is why I told you that no one could come to me except by the gift of the Father,” many of his disciples took off on him except for those 12 who are now famous for their faithfulness. And Peter tells Jesus why they’re sticking around: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Christians are married to their faith, just as spouses stay faithful to each other. They become one with each other, to the point where separation means personal diminishment. “A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because we are parts of his Body,” writes Paul to the Ephesians.

We Catholics who have stayed with our faith since childhood, through all the bad-mouthing from the secular elite and the financial and carnal scandals visited upon us by various fallen servants in the Church hierarchy, we know who brought us to this dance called life. We’re staying faithful because we know that by doing so “we can’t go wrong.”

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