Sunday, September 19
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 9: 30 – 37
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
We are celebrating the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time and are well into the month of September. As the seasons begin to change from the summer months of heat and humidity to the cool dampness that the fall season offers, we hear today a powerful reminder of who God is and how the wicked thoughts and actions of anyone opposed or skeptical of the Lord remain.
The book of Wisdom is full of inciteful content that we are often challenged to accept. The reading from Wisdom today reminds us of our old way of thinking, fear, and need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt as to the certainty of God. People often claim that they want to be challenged, they want to learn new things, that is no different today or thousands of years ago…well at least until what they are challenged in or what new things they learn, call for them to change, or to accept that their way of thinking or living is flawed. The truth is most people do not like change, but change is the only constant thing that occurs. One consistent reason people do not like change is because it happens beyond their control, or they are blown out of the water by realizing in an instant that their way of thinking or living is wrong and needs to change; so rather than accept change, they reject it.
This is exactly what Jesus tells us will happen to Him (and his followers for that matter), but rather than just change, Jesus is Truth itself and the change the world really needs. This Truth sets the world free from the fear that lack of control holds in this world. Some people are drawn to Truth until it requires them to change, then rather than accept the Truth, they reject it, even to the point of silencing it by death, because it does not fit into whatever self-driven narrative people have for themselves. Jesus shows us how to rid ourselves of any anxieties by teaching us that He is the cornerstone that the builders have rejected.
Our responsorial song is a powerful reminder of what God does for us and who He is. He is our Savior, defender, helper, sustainer, upholder and He is Goodness itself. This is how the letter of James fits so perfectly then into the Sunday readings to remind us how to differentiate the True from the False, the Good from the bad and anything that comes from God or not. If it is jealous or selfishly ambitious then it is not from God; if it is peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of Mercy, produces good fruits, constant and sincere then it is from God. James is reminding us that God is love and we are called to live and respond in the Love of God with our actions, which often speak louder than our words.
The Gospel shows us that Truth and Love have come down from Heaven and are Jesus Christ. It is His words and actions that we are shown that the ultimate call to Love in a way that is sacrificial. We have so much to truly be thankful for. This is the Good News we hear today. St. Brigid of Kildare…Pray for us!
-Father Tim Lynch