for Sunday, June 23, 2013
Jesus knows that He will suffer and die. He keeps on living in the
direction of dying. He invites us also to live in the direction of dying
by taking up the cross each and following Him. Jesus is clear in His
teaching: if you want to save your life here, you are going to lose. If
you are willing to give up your life here, for the sake of the kingdom, you
will save it.
We don't often like to hear such words put in front of us too forcefully!
Jesus reminds us that living is living for the Kingdom and not just having
a good time here with the pleasures and joys of this world. There must be
a clear focus in our lives: seeking to follow the Lord and taking up the
Cross daily in order to follow Him.
Even Jewish scholars could see in the prophecies of Zechariah the
possibility of a Messiah, who could come to save the people. The words of
the prophecy are so strong: they shall look on him whom they have pierced,
and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they shall
grieve over him as one grieves over a firstborn.
Speak to any mother who has lost an only child. Yet even in this
incredible suffering, there can be a recognition that God is at work.
God's ways are never our ways. At some point in our lives we are invited
to stop looking at ourselves and look for the deeper meanings of our life
and the lives of others and of all of creation.
The Letter to the Galatians assures us that we are all one in Christ Jesus.
We are born different from one another and yet called to be one in the
Lord. We are all children of the promise made to Abraham. Faith is at the
heart of this transformation into God's chosen people. Faith is what helps
us every day so that we can accept all that is and all that happens to us.
Faith is what gives us joy in pondering the deeper meanings of life. Faith
allows us to live for the Kingdom and accept the sufferings of this life as
part of a transformation.
My sisters and brothers, Jesus asks us today: who do you say that I am?
Each of us must listen to that question in the very depths of our being.
Only there will we encounter His Spirit allowing us to respond: My Lord
and my God.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Zechariah 12.10-11
Second Reading: Galatians 3.26-29
Gospel: Luke 9.18-24
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: