Archive for September 18, 2021

Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time

Posted: September 18, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Servant of All: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 2:12,17-20

Psalm 54:3-8

James 3:16-4:3

Mark 9:30-37

In today’s First Reading, it’s like we have our ears pressed to the wall and can hear the murderous grumblings of the elders, chief priests, and scribes—who last week Jesus predicted would torture and kill Him (see Mark 8:31; 10:33–34).

The liturgy invites us to see this passage from the Book of Wisdom as a prophecy of the Lord’s Passion. We hear His enemies complain that “the Just One” has challenged their authority, reproached them for breaking the law of Moses, for betraying their training as leaders and teachers.

And we hear chilling words that foreshadow how they will mock Him as He hangs on the Cross: “For if the Just One be the Son of God, He will . . . deliver Him . . . ” (compare Matthew 27:41–43).

Today’s Gospel and Psalm give us the flip side of the First Reading. In both, we hear of Jesus’ sufferings from His point of view. Though His enemies surround Him, He offers Himself freely in sacrifice, trusting that God will sustain Him.

But the Apostles today don’t understand this second announcement of Christ’s Passion. They begin arguing over issues of succession—over who among them is greatest, who will be chosen to lead after Christ is killed.

Again they are thinking not as God but as human beings (see Mark 8:33). And again Jesus teaches the Twelve—the chosen leaders of His Church—that they must lead by imitating His example of love and self-sacrifice. They must be “servants of all,” especially the weak and the helpless —symbolized by the child He embraces and places in their midst.

This is a lesson for us, too. We must have the mind of Christ, who humbled Himself to come among us (see Philippians 2:5–11). We must freely offer ourselves, making everything we do a sacrifice in praise of His name.

As James says in today’s Epistle, we must seek wisdom from above, desiring humility, not glory, and in all things be gentle and full of mercy.25

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 18, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Our Lord is indeed patient, merciful, generous and kind. Whether we deserve or are ready to receive it, He casts seeds of love through His word upon us. How is it then that our hearts are still not fertile enough to receive and bear fruit? Have we not understood that bearing fruit is not a suggestion or recommendation but a duty for us all?

Many of us have encountered the Lord and have been transformed by His loving grace. And as we have journeyed on in His love, we have become noble and of generous heart. At the very least our hearts have become bigger than it was in the past and our capacity to love has increased. Why then have we not bore much fruit? The answer perhaps lies in our lack of perseverance! We give up too easily when faced with uncertainty and in the face of adversity. Our desire for self preservation is greater than our need to bear witness to Christ Jesus our Lord by the carrying our cross. We are not yet fully prepared to suffer His namesake. For truly unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.

Lord Jesus grant me the fortitude, courage and strength to die to myself each day so as to rise in the light of Your resurrection. To take up my cross, follow You and yield a harvest worthy of You. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 6:13-16

I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told

Before God the source of all life and before Christ, who spoke up as a witness for the truth in front of Pontius Pilate, I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who at the due time will be revealed

by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all,

the King of kings and the Lord of lords,

who alone is immortal,

whose home is in inaccessible light,

whom no man has seen and no man is able to see:

to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.

Gospel

Luke 8:4-15

The parable of the sower

With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable:

    ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’

    His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, ‘The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that

they may see but not perceive,

listen but not understand.

‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.’