Saturday, September 22, 2018
25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
September 23, 2018 - 25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cycle B. Green.
Wis 2: 12, 17-20 / Jas 3: 16- 4: 3 / Mk 9: 30 -37
2ND READING: Wis 2: 12, 17- 20
Let us set a trap for the righteous, for he annoys us and opposes our way of life; he reproaches us for our breaches of the Law and accuses us of being false to our upbringing.
Let us see the truth of what he says and find out what his end will be, if the righteous is a son of God, God will defend him from his adversaries.
Let us humble and torture him to prove his self-control and test his patience. When we have condemned him to a shameful death, we may test his words.
FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Mk 9: 30- 35
After leaving that place, they made their way through Galilee; but Jesus did not want people to know where he was because he was teaching his disciples. And he told them, "The Son of Man will be delivered into human hands. They will kill him, but three days after he has been killed, he will rise." The disciples, however, did not understand these words and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, Jesus asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" But they did not answer because they had been arguing about who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve and said to them, "If someone wants to be first, let him be the last of all and the servant of all."
The narrator in the reading from the Book of Wisdom urges his cohort ("Let us ... ") to hide, catch and surprise the righteous one. They resent him because he takes the opposite position to what they hold. They are indignant and bitter because the righteous one reproaches them for transgressing the law and violating the very things they had been taught and trained to do. Annoyed and resentful, they wish to condemn and torture the righteous one to death. They resort to extreme measures to discover whether he is truly a Son of God. They argue that, if he were truly a Son of God, God would surely come and rescue him. If God does not, that is proof that their position is correct. They refuse to realize that, even if God does not rescue the righteous one, it does not necessarily mean that they are correct. They presume to know God's decision and how he makes them. They presume they have complete inside information into the very mind of God!
It cannot be denied that there are resentments based on truth and reality. However, there are also many which are not. The resentments experienced by our narrator and his group belong to the latter: instead of looking within and examining their consciences, the narrator and his group refuse to do the hard work of evaluating whether the claims of their opponents are true. They rather take the line of least resistance: they go on the attack. They blame the righteous person for their unhappiness. With their uncomfortable and uneasy feelings, they take the further steps of resorting to violence and condemning the righteous person to death.
We all experience resentments. What we are invited to do is to find out whether these are based on truth and reality. If they are, the good way to resolving them is to talk honestly and respectfully with those who have caused them - however difficult this may be.
But if the resentments are not, avoid what our narrator and his group have done. Turn inward rather than outward. Examine your own conscience, not the conscience of the others. Stop blaming others and be ready to blame yourself.
If there is truth to the claim, the complaint, the reproach, be honest and brave enough to admit the wrong. For honesty comes from freedom and genuine peace, the freedom and peace Jesus gives to his followers.
Have a good day!
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