Holy Mary..., the old man Simeon spoke to you of the sword which would pierce your soul (Lk 2:35), of the sign of contradiction that your Son would be in this world. Then, when Jesus began his public ministry, you had to step aside, so that a new family could grow... of those who heard his word and kept it (Lk 11:27f). Notwithstanding the great joy that marked the beginning of Jesus's ministry, in the synagogue of Nazareth you must already have experienced the truth of the saying about the “sign of contradiction” (Lk 4:28ff). In this way you saw the growing power of hostility and rejection which built up around Jesus until the hour of the Cross, when you had to look upon the Saviour of the world, the heir of David, the Son of God dying like a failure, exposed to mockery, between criminals.
What attracts me about this passage from Luke is that it refers to the other spirituality. It is not the usual scenario of Jesus calling men and women to leave home and family to follow him. In this passage we find "house" mentioned twice. According to scripture scholars, house or home is mentioned in scripture more often than either temple or church.
In this passage the Centurion is credited by Jesus for his loyalty, concern and care of his slave "who is ill and close to death." The Centurion does not leave his dying servant, not even to go to Jesus to ask healing for his servant. Jesus is amazed at the faith of the Centurion who recognizes that his calling is to family, to his extended household, to his slave. The Centurion speaks to Jesus of his understanding of loyalty and dependability. He is a man responsible for his household.
We remember and pray.
Is 50: 5-9; Jm 2: 14-18; Mk 8: 27-35
Alexander Master, Peter confessing Jesus to be the Christ_c.1430
Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, «Who do people say that I am?» They said in reply, "John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets." And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said to him in reply, "You are the Messiah." Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him. He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. Mk 8: 27-35
In the Gospel of Mark, Peter is portrayed as the one apostle that Jesus raises to leadership, but at the same time Peter screws up so often that we can really identify with him. Despite the fact that Jesus gives him the keys to the kingdom of heaven, Peter messes up when he tries to walk on water, he misunderstands the transfiguration, totally misinterpreting it, he denies Christ three times and later on is even criticized by St. Paul. Yet despite this, Jesus placed his trust in him. If Peter can mess up that badly and Jesus can still put his trust in him, there must be hope for me!
1 Timothy 1:15-17; Luke 6:43-49
“But the one who listens and does not act
is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation.
When the river burst against it,
it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”
When Hurricane Ida hit the U.S. last week, television was filled with dramatic pictures: houses battered by winds, trees uprooted, waves leaping over cars on flooded streets. After the storm had passed, vivid images of the aftermath remained. Solid buildings withstood the weather and remained intact. Other more fragile structures collapsed into heaps of wood or brick, spilling out the contents of their owner’s lives into the soggy streets.
Its not easy and often we are not rewarded. We are like Paul. Once we have heard God in our hearts, we must spread God's Good News. This is an impulse of grace. Paul's admonition not to expect anything in return is so realistic. We all need support in ministry whether its caring for our family, others in the workplace, or speaking out about issues of injustice. Instead of expecting a grand applause or a plaque, we can look for small words of thanks and encouragement.
Codex von Rossano um 600
Wow, friends. The readings today are gold, are they not? If only we could find the courage to live as they describe in every moment, we’d find the fulfillment of the Kingdom. They speak so well for themselves that I can only paraphrase here what I take from them.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Ps 28, 7
Dear Sister Izabela,
we sincerely wish you God's richest blessings on your feast day. May your heart be full of joy - the Lord has called you by name and you belong to Him.
Today your sisters around the world remember you with great gratitude for your work in our Congregation. We wish you to take time today to do something for yourself. And be sure, we are all united with you in prayer today.
May the Lord give you strength for everything you do and many signs of His presence every day, so that in the evening your heart will be full of joy.
Best wishes - your sisters
It is delightful, Dear Mary, to reflect upon your birth. We are so very accustomed to wishing people "Happy Birthday," but I don't think I've really taken the time to acknowledge your birthday in a personal way. I don't think I've stopped to thank God for the day you were born.
"He spent the night in prayer to God"
We cannot find God in noise or agitation.... In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice:
Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
In the silence of the heart
God will speak.
A man with a withered hand is called forward by Jesus in the synagogue. “Stretch out your hand,” Jesus says and his hand was restored. By taking the part of himself in the greatest need of healing to Jesus, he was healed.
Is 35: 4-7a; Jm 2:1-5; Mk 7:31-37
Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. Is 35: 4-7a
One of God’s attributes is “the liberator”. This is the attribute which this Sunday’s liturgical texts especially focus on. God frees all human beings from their sad condition of outcasts, and he frees nature from its barren dryness (First Reading). He frees us from illnesses of the heart and of the spirit, “everything he does is good, he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak”. «Effatha!» He frees the Christian from any distinctions of class, for whether we are rich or poor, we are all the same before God (Gospel).