Gospel Reflection for 12th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – June 19th 2016
One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.
‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
Then to all he said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it.
Jesus seems to be sure of his destiny – that he will die violently and be raised from death. This is the central mystery of believing in him. The mystery of death and resurrection is with us, not just at the hour of death, but always.
We die a bit every day! Our bodies at a certain age weaken, our mind be diminish in memory and in power. We die emotionally sometimes – love and fondness for people may dissolve.
We lose our loved ones in death, and some significant relationships break up. We come through; the human spirit can become storing in a weakened body, and love once lost can be found again.
A GRACE FOR ALL TIME
So as we die often, we rise often too. The resurrection is a grace for all time, not just for after death.
Many losses in life, like losses Jesus experienced are not asked for. They happen or they are caused by others. Jesus walks this road with us now. His wounded feet walk our journeys with us. We have Mary, mother of Jesus, and saints who knew this also.
The smaller deaths and losses in our lives prepare us for the big death. When we breathe our last breath, we welcome the God of life and joy into our souls. The one who died himself and rose form death will be our sure company then, as he is our sure company now.
When Peter said that Jesus was the Christ of God, he was professing faith in Jesus who would die and rise. He may not have known that at the time, but the realisation of his big loving truth would keep him going in many difficult times. It will do the same for us.
Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free.
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger