12 Sep Sun, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

9/11/2021 3:47:24 PM
Is. 50:5-9 / Ps. 114:1-2,3-4,5-6,8-9 / James 2:14-18 / Mk. 8:27-35 (Ps Wk IV)

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They say that the streets of hell are paved with good intentions. The author of James would agree: good intentions and nice words are not enough. Love is as love does - and love always is expressed in deeds. Again and again, the bible tells us that the people who are right in God's eyes are those who see and attend to the needs and the suffering of others. Yet, there seems to be a peculiar type of Christianity that is chiefly concerned with 'getting saved' - as long as one is right with Jesus, the world's needs are not of much importance. But to be right with Jesus means to be right with others and that means always responding with practical compassion. If we keep our eyes and hearts open, we will not miss the daily opportunities to express love and faith in this manner.

This is very clear in the story of Peter's confession of faith. Peter got it right when he declared that Jesus was the Messiah, but he missed the main point. For Peter, being the Messiah was about power and glory, but Jesus had other ideas. Jesus went on to explain that his 'status' as Messiah meant powerlessness, suffering, and death. Not only that, Jesus warned his followers that they could expect the same. Peter was shocked and horrified - he wanted no part of it, not for Jesus or himself. This is human thinking, and as Jesus rebuked Peter, he called upon him to think in spiritual terms. Being a disciple of Jesus is not a free pass on an easier life. But our suffering and struggle can be an instrument of transformation and grace. Everything depends on our attitude.

Lord, help me to respond to the needs of others.  

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9月12日 ( 日 ) 常年期第二十四主日

依撒意亞先知書 50:5-9
聖詠 116[114,115]:1-2,3-4,5-6,8-9
雅各伯書 2:14-18
馬爾谷福音 8:27-35

「凡於黑暗中行走而不見光明的,該依靠上主的名字。我呼求了上主的聖名,上主,求祢救我的性命。請讓我看到祢的面貌,聽見祢的聲音,因為祢的聲音柔和可愛。祢是默西亞。」以上分別取自今天的讀經、答唱詠和福音,雖然來源不同,放在一起卻完美無缺。我們和上主的關係正是在我們呼求而上主回應的過程中建立的,並使我們明白祂的身分是拯救我們的那一位。是甚麼使我們走向天主?是苦難嗎?是自由嗎?是喜悅嗎?都是,又都不是。因為苦難中天主給的是陪伴,不一定是消除苦難的辦法;自由中天主鼓勵我們選擇遵從祂的勸諭,而非為所欲為;喜悅中天主與我們同在,卻同時是為預備應對未來的苦難。正如耶穌在今天的福音中,雖然顯示了默西亞的身分,卻更著重於默西亞將要承受的苦難。

天主聖神,懇求祢賜給我們希望和勇氣,天天跟隨已戰勝了苦難的基督,並能如同祂一樣,在委屈中保持溫良的心腸,為世界帶來希望。

(theology.org.hk)
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