Saturday, September 12, 2009
24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
MEMORIAL, JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, BISHOP AND DOCTOR
24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, That I might know how
to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after
morning he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have
not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to
those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and
spitting. The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I
have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us
appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. See, the
Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong? Lo, they will all wear
out like cloth, the moth will eat them up.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does
not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has
nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to
them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them
the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, "You
have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without
works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
Now 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.
Jesus asks his disciples and all of us, "Who do you say I am?" The
question has been central and crucial, to all Christians since the
time of Jesus. It's the same question that each one of us will have to
answer Jesus – "Who is Jesus to us?" Is he a historical figure of over
2,000 years ago? Is he a teacher, a rabbi? Is he just a great person?
Is he a friend, a brother? Is he God? Is he your No. 1 in life? Or, do
we think of Jesus at all? Our answer depends in large measure on the
way we order our lives, the way we live. The response Christ awaits is
not a mere intellectual act. It involves what we believe, how we
worship, the way we live. Who, then, do we say Christ is? He is the
center of the world. Apart from him liturgy is just playacting.
Communion is merely a ritual. Our whole lives should echo the response
of Peter to Jesus at the lakeshore breakfast. Peter responded with all
his heart, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."
That brings us to another question – "What do we think of our sisters
and brothers?" This powerful passage from James shows that it is
inseparable from genuine love for Christ. "Whatever good is it if
[you] say [you] have faith but have not works? Can [your] faith save
[you]? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and no food for the
day, and you say to them, `Good-bye and good luck, keep warm and well-
fed,' but do not meet their bodily needs, what good is that? So it is
with the faith that does nothing in practice, it is thoroughly
lifeless." (James 2:14-17)
These challenging words are further spelled out by God through the
prophet Micah, who proclaimed: "What does the Lord require of you? Do
justice and love steadfastly…" (Micah 6:8); and on the lips of Isaiah,
"Bring no more vain offerings…. Seek justice, correct oppression,
defend the fatherless, plead for the widow." (Isaiah 1:16-17) And
Jesus at the synagogue in Nazareth: "The Spirit of the Lord… has
anointed me to preach good news to the poor…, to set free the
oppressed." (Luke 4:18) Have these words any impact on our lives? Or,
is our reaction that of "What do I care?"
Do the Word and Eucharist we share transform us to be men and women
for others? Does the Liturgy move our life, from Church to world, from
Christ to the crucified?
Sacrifice is suffering with a purpose. Our world has long since
learned a painful lesson: Perfect oneness with someone or something
beloved – man, woman, or child, music or medicine, knowledge or art —
can be achieved only in terms of self-giving, only in terms of love.
In the Christian mystery the self-giving love was summed up by Jesus
in today's Gospel: "If you want to come after me, deny yourself, take
up your cross, and follow in my steps." A big if: If you want to come
after him, if you want to be his disciple, if you love him enough to
suffer for him as willingly as he was crucified for you.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the strength and healing of:
- Francis Torres
- Richy Ozoa
- Brenda Domingo-Solis
- Inday Tan
… for the personal intentions of
- Vicsyd Valera and family
- Dapo family
… for the safety of San Juan de Dios Hospital
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Raul and Epifania Ylaya
- Rustico Banaag
- Fausta Uson Cruz
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for the healing and peace of all families
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Bing A. Courtney
- Birthday: Lorenza Tan
- Birthday: Dr. Rolando Songco
- Birthday: Dr. Amelou Benitez Reyes
- Birthday: Sol Agbayani
- In Memoriam (+): Artemio V. Reyes
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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