REFLECTION ON THE DAILY GOSPEL 28 SEPTEMBER 2013

Today’s Gospel is a short one, at least in terms of words. But, like life, often the smallest verses have the greatest meaning and mystery associated with them. Let us read it again.

While they were all amazed at his every deed, he said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

So what does all that mean? Right from the top, the disciples continued to be amazed at the miracles that Jesus is working.

Luke has just finished describing the healing of a boy possessed by a demon and they are in awe. Coming off the transfiguration, where Jesus is talking to Moses and Elijah, this only brings them closer to believing in him.

However, Jesus shakes them by repeating for a second time his forthcoming passion. They do not understand what he is talking about.

They are also a little stunned because he has warned them about the conditions for discipleship a few verses earlier.

Then he said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

If you were a disciple at that time it sounds like there is a lot of suffering to come, and they were not sure if they could handle it.

We know now that Jesus was taking about eternal life after the resurrection. But at the time the apostles would not have understood this as the resurrection was still to come along with the Holy Spirit that would breadth the grace of God into them and their missions.

So basically they were scared to question him on this further.

We have some of the same reactions in life ourselves. When we are faced with challenges, do we sometimes just turn a “deaf ear” to them.

Hoping they will go away, like a debt collector, a bad cold or even worst. Sometimes it is more serious than that, such as our relationships with others.

We might neglect them or hope that the other person will apologize first. Waiting to do something is a decision too. Something we often forget.

Jesus knew what was coming, and he was facing up to it fully, and trying to get the disciples to do the same.

He knew in advance the trials that were going to befall them after his crucifixion and resurrection. And the disciples they did not want to be reminded that “they have to pick up their cross as well”.

It takes a lot of strength to face up to death. At the time, the apostles knew that Jesus was a special man, but most (with the exception of Peter) had not make the full connection. That Jesus was God and that He was the Messiah.

That revelation was to come later for them, even after the resurrection, the disciples were still basically scared for their own lives, and it wasn’t until Pentecost, and the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the Upper room that they truly had “knowledge and understanding” of God and his plan for their lives.

So what seems like a few small words in today’s Gospel balloons out to the mystery of the Trinity and the wondrous power and awesome love God has for us.

Giving us His son in death and resurrection, giving us new life every time the sacrifice is made. Each time we partake of the Eucharist we are once again renewed with untold graces. These are the infused graces that reach into the deepest elements of our soul. Refreshing and enriching our faith and love for Jesus.

When we see the importance of time in Salvation history in Jesus’s ministry from his crucifixion and resurrection, we get a perspective of God’s long-term plan and love for us.

Before time began, there was ALWAYS the three persons of the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is eternal, so our own concept of time is irrelevant. God was, is and always will be as the Catechism states. CCC 205 “He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan.”

So I will repeat … God the Father was always there, so was God the Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

All of this preplanned by God, by God the Father in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ, God the Son in the New Testament and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity.

So the amazing mystery of the Trinity is bound up in these few warning lines to the disciples in the Gospel today.

Now we have more than 2000 years of tradition and celebration of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to help us live out our faith with fidelity.

We have the truth of his presence in the Eucharist nourishing our souls, and we have the gifts and presence of the Holy Spirit to support and sustain us through the times when we have our own Cross to bear.

At the end of the day, it all returns to God’s intention for us. His saving grace, his unlimited love.

We can meditate on this call to us in his short poem called Love Sustains.

 

Love; a life sustaining grace,

Not visible, but obvious,

inexpensive, yet priceless,

unlimited, though often withheld.

Sustain your life today. Love someone.

THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 28 SEPTEMBER 2013

Saturday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 454

Reading 1 Zec 2:5-9, 14-15a

I, Zechariah, raised my eyes and looked:
there was a man with a measuring line in his hand.
I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered, “To measure Jerusalem,
to see how great is its width and how great its length.”
Then the angel who spoke with me advanced,
and another angel came out to meet him and said to him,
“Run, tell this to that young man:
People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country,
because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst.
But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD,
and I will be the glory in her midst.”
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you.

Responsorial Psalm Jer 31:10, 11-12ab, 13

R. (see 10d) The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd guards his flock.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

Gospel Lk 9:43b-45

While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 6 SEPTEMBER 2013

Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 435

Reading 1 Col 1:15-20

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the Body, the Church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the Blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Responsorial Psalm PS 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (2b) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
For he is good,
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Gospel Lk 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.