24th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR –11th/12th SEPT, 2021
As we listen to today’s Gospel, we see that we have moved into Part Two of Mark’s Gospel. Over the past Sundays we heard of how Jesus was rejected in his own town of Nazareth; when he said, ‘I am the Bread of Life come down from heaven’, a lot of people could not accept his words. Jesus has found opposition in several quarters and has been misunderstood in spite of all he did and said.
So, in today’s Gospel we see Jesus proclaiming the necessity, rejection, suffering and death and resurrection as part of God’s plan as Son of God.
The first reading (Is. 50:5-9) tells of the Servant of the Lord who suffers, in spite of his innocence. The suffering servant, as this passage indicates, represents the many just people who suffer. When we look at the media, we see children starving and malnourished and suffering families.
All of this leads us to the challenge of St James in the second reading today. Faith and Good Works must go hand-in-hand.
It is important that we say to somebody, “I’ll pray for you”. This must be the first step. But if our action stops there – then we are only giving lip-service to our neighbour. We must not think we have done our bit once we have referred the matter to God! That would be ‘passing the buck!’ When we are praying for another person, we are in fact saying ‘Here I am Lord, send me to help my neighbour’. We know that actions speak louder than words.
And so the further insight: it helps if we could answer the question that Jesus put to his disciples – “who do you say, I am?” In other words: “who is Jesus in my life?” How would you answer this question? No need to look up any catechism to get a forward answer, but slowly think about what Jesus may be saying to you right now. If we listen he may be giving you an answer:
He could be saying:
“I love you, I have given my life for you;
I am the Suffering Servant who serves you;
I am the Good Shepherd who protects you;
I am the Bread of Life who feeds and nourishes you;
I am the Light of the World who shows you the way;
I am your Brother; you are my sister or brother;
I am … (can you complete other words of Jesus?)
That is all for this week, God bless. Fr Joe