September 13, 2015

24th Sun., Ordinary Time

September 13, 2015:  Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • 'Walker' tie pin:  "I will walk before the Lord" (psalm)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  I 'called' on the Lord  (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' and 'feet' pins:  He freed my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling (psalm)
  • 'Clothes' tie:  If someone has nothing to wear and you don't give them the necessities, what good is that? (2nd reading)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Who do people say I am?" / "Who do you say I am?" (gospel) [forgot it; watch for it tomorrow]
  • 'Crucifix' pin:  “Son of Man must be killed.... To come after me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow."  (gospel)
  • Green in shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season

For the psalm
Pope Francis Angelus
When Jesus asked, "Who do people say I am?," some answered John the Baptist, others Elijah or another prophet, not the Messiah.  Then he asks "But who do you say that I am?" to test their faith.  Jesus is impressed by the faith of Peter who says “The Christ” but also rebukes him for thinking like people, not God, in not accepting that the Messiah would suffer and be killed.  Jesus says the Messiah is a humble servant and that his disciples must be too.
Following Jesus means taking up my cross to accompany him on his journey to freedom from selfishness and sin. rejecting the worldly mentality that puts myself at the center.  Have you felt the need to become closer to Jesus?  Reflect, pray, and let the Lord speak to you.
  • Is 50:5-9a  God opens my ear.  I gave my back to those who beat me and didn't shield my face from spitting.  God my help upholds me; I won't be put to shame....
  • Ps 116:1-6, 8-9  "I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living."  In my distress I called on the Lord, and he heard my cry and saved me.  The Lord is gracious, just, and merciful.  He freed me from death, tears, and stumbling....
  • Jas 2:14-18  Can faith without works save you?  If a brother or sister has no food or clothes and you say, “Keep warm, and eat well” without giving them anything, what good is it?  So too faith:  without works, it's dead.  Demonstrate your faith without works, and I'll demonstrate mine from my works.
  • Mk 8:27-35  Jesus / disciples along the way to Caesarea Philippi:  “Who do people say I am?” / “John the Baptist, Elijah, or a prophet.” / “But who do you say I am?”  Peter:  “The Christ.”  Jesus warned them not to tell anyone.  He began to teach them the Son of Man must suffer and be rejected and killed, then rise.  Peter took him aside to rebuke him; Jesus rebuked Peter:  “Get behind me, Satan; you're thinking like people, not God.”  To crowd:  “To come after me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you want to save your life, you'll lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake and the gospel's, you'll save it.”
    • Creighton:  In the gospel Peter recognizes Jesus as the Messiah, then questions/doubts; Jesus affirms the need to surrender.  Who do I say Jesus is?  Once we answer, we can consider what difference it makes in our lives.  Do I balk at times of suffering like Peter did, or surrender?  Note parallel between end of gospel and the Suscipe at the end of St. Ignatius of Loyola's Contemplatio ad amorem....
    • One Bread One Body:  "The privilege of suffering":  Jesus openly says we'll have to suffer, deny ourselves, and take up the cross.  Suffering is the way of salvation; we fill up what's lacking in the sufferings of Christ.  That doesn't mean all suffering is God's will; Jesus takes people out of suffering by healing, even today through medical treatment....
    • Passionist:  I may be guilty of a “Goldilocks” mentality about God:  Where's the backbone when I should offer mercy and forgiveness?  Why love those who don't love me back?  Why die to myself?  What of my rights goals, plans, and life?  So I adjust my theology; then the bears arrive!  Peter experiences that in today’s gospel:  he's in the Anointed's presence, he's left everything and perhaps expects to live walk and proclaim the good news with Jesus, then is rebuked.  Isaiah grabs the hearer: “The Lord God opens my ear….”  Our response to God's initiative must be conscious, not passive.  James suggests the difference:  it's not enough passively to wish others well; we must demonstrate our faith from our works; to be a Christ today offering God’s sustaining nearness.  May I be free to let go of my expectations when God calls me; may I not settle for comfort but rather hear the cry of the poor....
    •  Many in Israel recognized Jesus as a man of God, even a prophet.  Peter professed,  "You are the Christ [Messiah, Anointed One]"; only God could have revealed that.  Jesus commanded his disciples to be silent because they didn't understand his mission:  "There were things yet unfulfilled which must also be included in their preaching about him.  They must also proclaim the cross, the passion, and the death in the flesh.  They must preach the resurrection of the dead, that glorious sign by which testimony is borne him that Emmanuel is truly God and by nature Son of God the Father. He abolished death and destruction, robbed hell and overthrew the tyranny of the enemy, took away the sin, opened heaven to earth dwellers, and united earth to heaven.  These things proved him to be God.  So he commanded them to guard the mystery by silence until the whole plan should arrive at a suitable conclusion" (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke, Homily 49, paraphrased).  Jesus explained it would cost them everything to follow him.  When we discover God, we gladly surrender all.  For a share in the Lord's victory, we must take up our cross and follow him; when my will 'crosses' God's, I must choose his.
    • Sunday-trumped Saint, from Universalis:  John Chrysostom, priest, ascetic, preacher, patriarch, reformer:  works by and about him, and bio, here  

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