In the ancient world, “household” was a wide-reaching concept. When Joshua today speaks of his household serving the Lord, he meant not just those people who lived inside his walls or those related to him by blood or marriage; he meant slaves or servants and their families, and anyone indebted to him in any way. Even his livestock and other possessions would be consecrated to service of God. In our world, we value allowing individuals their freedom to choose how they live, and wouldn’t think of offering our pets to the service of God. But, as we discern our vocation as disciples baptized into Christ, we can come to realize how farranging the “households” of our lives still are: how we act toward our spouses, children, roommates or anyone we live with; our behavior with neighbors; or in public as we encounter many “strangers” every day in stores or traffic who suddenly are “next door” to us. How can we use our time, our resources, or gifts for selfless reasons rather than personal gain? No matter what life our witness to the Good News calls us to, we all have a “household” that must be consecrated to the service of the Lord our God.
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