Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
September 26, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 144:1b and 2abc, 3-4
A reflection on today's Scripture:
For a while, communications managers I knew used to tell me it was important to get the "buzz" going in an office about something new or different. It helps raise the questions and get people to come and ask questions. I was never too sure of the method. It sounded like structured rumor making and seemed to be a cousin of good ol' gossip.
But, you can hear the buzz in the Gospel today. The talk about Jesus is underway. He knows that. He knows His disciples have heard different interpretations and opinions. How is this shaping their thinking and relationship? In the quiet of secluded prayer, away from the maddening crowds, Jesus asks them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" Here is the buzz, "You are Elijah, John the Baptist, another prophet."
That is the problem with the buzz. It dulls one's mind and one's responsibility to think. Christian life, as Pope Benedict repeatedly points out, requires faith and reason. Jesus calls on both. "Who do you say that I am?" And, it is Peter who answers, "You are the Messiah of God."
Use this Gospel to inspire clear thinking about Jesus. Gospel-based thinking. Each step that Jesus describes will happen, will define who He is: He is the suffering servant; He is offering Himself, the High Priest; He is embracing the Cross, where raised up—He presides as King; and He is the resurrection and new Life.
It was difficult for disciples to accept this. The fulfillment, fueled by the Holy Spirit, brought them to their own fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy that they would be witnesses to the ends of the earth. These are the realities celebrated in every Eucharist. These realities require us to set aside the buzz or the spin and to prepare for Mass, listen intently at Mass, profess faith during Mass and resolve to demonstrate that you agree: "You are the Messiah."
Think about this. The first reading from Ecclesiastes is poetic and rather lovely, often used in funerals where the deceased had not professed faith or the family does not. It seems to be used to suggest that hope in the cycle of life will lead to mercy, and we should not judge that God will withhold mercy. But the reality is this: Christ as Messiah breaks some cycles that do not seem to offer a clear hope. Christ, through whom all things are made, restores creation to its original order. While still incomplete, He will bring it fulfilled to the Father. He is the Messiah, the Savior of the World.
- Rev. Stephen H. Gratto |
email: smartins @frontiernet.net
Friday, September 26, 2008
Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Sts. Cosmas and Damian, martyrs
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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