Bulletin: September 23, 2018
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
One can always be amazed by the prophets and the wisdom books of the Old Testament. A hundred years or so before Christ, the Book of Wisdom points to the kind of teachings a just person such as Jesus would produce and the death that would result at the hands of the wicked. “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us” and “Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”
When we are feeling set upon, we can cry out with Psalm 54, “O God, by your name save me, and by your might defend my cause.” With Jesus, we often suffer from the contempt of others, and here we have assurance of God’s help in our need. “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.” When the situation in our country and the world seems difficult or even hopeless, we cry out to God for help and salvation for ourselves, for others in need, and for the Earth itself.
WHERE DO THE WARS COME FROM?
The letter from Saint James is quite explicit about the problem of war and peace. “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.” So then, “Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? . . . You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war.” War is an evil and never to be the first resort in settling conflicts.
SIMPLICITY AND LOVE
As Jesus walks along with his disciples, they are talking and arguing. Jesus asks them what they are discussing, but he knows. They are arguing about which of them will be greatest in the reign of God. He tells them that whoever wishes to be first must take the last place and be the servant of all.
Then he takes a little child and places it in their midst. “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me.” Sometimes it is assumed that small children are incapable of understanding the teachings of the Gospels and the sacraments of the Church. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which has its roots in the Montessori method of pedagogy, allows even very small children as young as three to experience the life of Jesus and the liturgy of the Church through materials such as the altar, small vestments in seasonal colors, and wooden maps of the Holy Land where Jesus lived and traveled, as well as other materials related to the Gospels and the liturgy. People who observe the children at their work using this method of catechesis are amazed at their understanding of the Gospels and especially the parables. Most importantly, the children develop a genuine love for Jesus that is deep and touching.
There is a lesson here for all of us, as Jesus pointed out. We must have the same simplicity and love for Jesus as these little children in order to enter the reign of God.
Today’s Readings: Wis 2:12, 17–20; Ps 54:3–4, 5, 6–8; Jas 3:16 — 4:3; Mk 9:30–37
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