for Sunday, September 23, 2012
None of us likes to be treated poorly. Rarely do we sense that our very is
in peril. At times we know that others have set themselves against us.
What do we do when we find ourselves badly treated and with others against
In the Gospel today, Jesus tells His followers today that He Himself will
treated badly and even put to death. His followers seem not to listen at
all. Instead they are discussing who will be the greatest among them.
The contract between Jesus and His followers is enormous. Yet we
ourselves are often not concerned at all that Christ has died for us.
Instead we are like the followers of Jesus. We are concerned about the
small things of our own lives and about how we can be better off in this
The first reading, from the Book of Wisdom, is not a prophecy but rather a
deep understanding of human nature. There is something broken within us
humans and we can be unhappy when a person is too good. The goodness of
the other person makes our lack of goodness look even worse. So we don\'t
believe in the goodness of the other person. We test the goodness of the
other, hoping that it is not real.
The Letter of James continues to instruct us: the fruit of righteousness
is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. We are not to be
discouraged by our brokenness. We are to recognize our reality as broken
people and continue to seek peace and seek to live with virtue.
Just as Jesus recognized that he would be treated badly and put to death,
we recognize that to be His followers, we will suffer. This suffering will
come from others but also from our own efforts to be faithful. When we
encounter our own brokenness, we begin the spiritual combat which will
allow the Spirit of Jesus to transform us into His image.
Today Jesus invites us to walk the path that He walked in this life. We
are invited to embrace suffering for the sake of the Kingdom, as the price
of transfiguration, as the means of living as He lived. Let us trust Him
and do as He asks.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Wisdom 2.12, 17-20
Second Reading: James 3.16 – 4.3
Gospel: Mark 9.30-37
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: