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Gospel Reflection for 25th Sunday Ordinary Time, Year B, September 23rd 2018
You could see Jesus in today’s gospel as a pessimist. He looks ahead with his disciples and talks about his suffering and death. Maybe they had little idea that this would happen; it was so demanding of them that they forgot later that he said he would rise from the dead.
Somehow Jesus knew what his fate would be – that his commitment to his Father’s mission would lead to his death; he also believed that his Father would not abandon him but he would be raised. He was a realist and a Man of faith. He was neither pessimist nor optimist; he was a man of hope.
His call to us is to enter into the fullness of our lives and of our lives together. So he also calls on his followers to serve; that the place of honour might the be last at the table; and the last would be first.
We know of so many people who are with Jesus in unnoticed ways. Pope Francis in Gaudete et Exsultate writes: Very often holiness is found in our next-door neighbours, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence. We might call them “the middle class of holiness” (Par 4). Answering the call to serve rather than be served is in the ordinary of family and work life, of helping others, of caring for those around us. In this way we are ‘for Christ’.
Donal Neary SJ
Editor of The Sacred Heart Messenger and National Director of The Apostleship of Prayer