Gospel Reflection for 24th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – September 14th 2015
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi. On the way he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say I am?’ And they told him. ‘John the Baptist,’ they said ‘others Elijah; others again, one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he asked ‘who do you say I am?’ Peter spoke up and said to him, ‘You are the Christ.’ And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again; and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’
He called the people and his disciples to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
Mark 8:27 -35
Giving up is part of life – you give up time for your children and grandchildren. Parents say it was worth it for the joy in their face. A person goes to work for the poor and gives up a better job. You want to do more study and know you have to leave some leisure aside that you like. The Paralympics men and women sacrifice a lot to train and to do well. But something else comes through for us when we give up. If it’s real and true we get back a lot. It seems strange for Jesus to say – lose your life to save it. He’s talking about losing good things, to get better.
The ME culture
This can be a big challenge in a culture today that is very ME conscious.
We can find that personal concerns take total precedence, without much care for others, so long as it does not interfere with them. But as long as one person on this globe is hungry or homeless or seeking refuge, the work of Jesus is never done. Losing life and saving life with Jesus is a call to community, to neighbourhood and the world!
If my own life is my main concern, my circle of care extends just as far as myself, ignoring care in a sustained way for the stranger or the outcast.
Prayer for Generosity (St. Ignatius of Loyola)
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger