September 12, 2021 - 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 116:9
Letter of James 2:14-18
Gospel According to Mark 8:27-35
by Sister Jane Hibbard, SNJM
The readings today bring us face to face with the reality that we are invited to commit to the crucified Christ. Our tendency is to run ahead to the resurrection, but today calls us to firmly encounter Jesus Christ crucified. The amazing reality is that we follow, are loved by a God who is willing to become human, suffer and die for us.
The crucifixion is a MYSTERY. This is the definition of mystery by Cardinal Basil Hume, an English Benedictine. “Mystery lies beyond us; it is too rich for our understanding. It can be entered into, explored, even inhabited; but it can never be exhausted or fathomed.” It is a matter of “wondering” rather than of “knowing.” That gives us hope. Our God was willing to give us the way, truth and life. That way, truth and life always walks the cross to Calvary before we get to Jesus rising from the dead. It gives suffering a meaning and enables grace to come to us through the cross.
Each time we accept life with its inevitable daily irritations, as well as deep sufferings like illness and death, we walk the journey home toward our God. Maria Troncatti, an Italian Missionary, who ministered in the Amazon wrote: “A look at the crucifix gives me life and wings to work.”
Because our Savior Jesus Christ died the horrible death on the cross, we know he will be with us in our sufferings, big and small. The first reading from Isaiah describes the suffering servant. It foreshadows the suffering Christ who will endure and promises: “The Lord God is my help!”
Spend a little time marveling at the mystery of our great and glorious God!
Let us pray for acceptance of our life suffering.
Let us pray to know Jesus Christ in suffering.
Let us assist others in alleviating suffering when possible.
Let us know that we are on the journey that will lead to resurrection!
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“Never swerving from his instructions, then, but faithfully observing his
teaching in life until death, we shall through patience share in the
sufferings of Christ that we may deserve also to share in his glory.” Prologue 50
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord through which
the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14