24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 16, 2012)

Last Sunday, we heard the Gospel of the healing of the deaf-mute man. The story that follows this in Mark’s Gospel is the healing of a blind man. And now, in this Sunday’s Gospel, it’s time for the 12 Apostles to get an ear and eye exam. Have the things they’ve seen Jesus do helped them to understand who He is? Have the things they’ve heard from Jesus also helped in that process of getting to know Jesus?

Yes and No.

Yes, because Peter correctly identified Jesus as the Christ. No, because they were still thinking of Jesus in worldly terms as a military messiah, one who would triumph over Israel’s enemies. Jesus wanted nothing to do with that. Instead of killing Israel’s enemies, He would Himself be killed by His people. Talk about a bucket of icy cold water on the apostles’ aspirations!!!

We’re not really that much different. We do see Jesus as the Christ. But like the Apostles, we want him to ride to our rescue and deliver us from all that afflicts us, whether it be spiritual, emotional, physical, or mental. And when Jesus doesn’t deliver, we rebuke Him as uncaring, distant, not loving us.

The truth is we cannot ever know what God is doing with us. We don’t want crosses. We even think that one of the purposes of prayer is to ask Jesus to take away the nasties in our life.

But Jesus is urging us to let go. To “save our life” is to cling to things which are not us try to find security in them. Our happiness, we need to learn, is not in having or grabbing, but in sharing what we have. It is in giving, not in getting. It is in letting go and letting God, as they say.

Love deeply, laugh often, pray faithfully!

herb yost reflections

Fr. Herb, C.S.C.

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