Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

September 17, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Isaiah 50:5-9a
Psalm 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
James 2:14-18
Mark 8:27-35

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

We are in the “golden” season of richly-colored leaves, soft yellows and dusky reds--a favorite season for many people. With all the beauty that surrounds us, it’s a bit shocking to listen to Isaiah’s prophecy about the Suffering Servant in today’s first reading. It forces us to remember the Passion, as Jesus is mocked and spit upon by the soldiers. All the evil of the ages was unleashed against the innocence and goodness of Jesus. And that includes the hatred behind the terrorism and atrocities of all kinds in our world today. We are invited to prayer and works of love and atonement as our response.

The letter of James urges us further to put our love into action, for “faith without works is dead.” Would we tell a hungry person, shivering with cold, to “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well”? We could laugh at the absurdity of it all, was it not so outrageous. “So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Probably the question Jesus asks in today’s Gospel is the most challenging we will ever hear! “But who do you say that I am?” It silenced them. Only the inspiration of the Spirit of God gave Peter the right answer: You are the Christ! That meant that Jesus was the One they had been waiting for through all the long centuries. Now, when Jesus asks us this question, he’s not looking for a “catechism” answer, He wants to know what our heart is telling us. Is He the center of our life, the reason for our joy? Is His word the basis for all our decisions, and does it occur to us to check with Him as we would with our best friend?

Then Jesus puts His followers to the acid test. Remember, He’s talking to us also. If we’ve answered that big question in the first part of the Gospel well (and can honestly say “yes” to all of the above), then we won’t have any problem taking up our cross each morning and following Him. We’ll understand that losing our life for Him really means finding it.

Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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