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The very first paragraph in this gospel makes me think about the times when my (everyone’s) life becomes dark. It happens to all of us at some point. We can’t see the light, tribulation overtakes our mind, and we are in despair. I’m reading this at a more personal level, not necessarily looking at “the end” but I our kind what we “feel” is the end. And it’s the. That we see the Lord. We see His glory. I don’t see an image of the Son of Man in a cloud, but within me I see the light He provides!
I also think the comparison to the fig tree represents the strength and the newness one feels once they realize God has been with them the whole time!
For some reason I feel like there are so many stories where Jesus becomes the “dad” of the group. “What are you arguing about”? I think when Jesus explains what needs to happen, He lets the apostles talk amount themselves, not interrupting their argument but fully aware. I almost feel as the the they kids arguing well your the “greatest” you ask, he likes you better, your His favorite! Reminds me again of my own kids afraid to be the one to ask a question where they are “supposed” to know the answer.
When Jesus picks up a child and tells them by tevieving a child you recieve him as well as the one who sends Him. Maybe the child is the best way for Jesus to explain, (especially in those days) the uncertainty of when somebody’s gets pregnant. They receive it and don’t ask questions. And that is what he is trying to explain. Receive what God gives you. Very much as Mary did the same. She accepted and received Christ!
Jesus knowing what is about to happen to Him, make this gospel especially powerful. He is discussing his imminent death, and when Peter rebukes this Jesus says: Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” when I was younger I never understood this. Why would Jesus be upset that somebody wanted to stand up for him? It made no sense. But as I grow in my faith I realize many times we do the same thing. We fight against what is to come, what God is bringing to us. Some of its good, some of its questionable, and some is what we perceive as “bad”. I say perceive because many time we want to fight for what will make “us” feel good, instead of accepting what is inevitable. This can put us in a very strenuous relationship with God because it brings us to a point where we can blame Him for the bad. I don’t believe God creates evil. I believe evil exists, and pushes us TO God, while many feel it pushes us away. I know this is a little backhanded, but think about it. Many who want to blame God for evil, probably don’t have an intimate relationship with God. But by this “bad” happening, it opens a door for people to begin communicating with Him, even if it is in anger. Having faith that what is happening is going to bring about a resolution (in this case saving mankind) is a good thing.
Peter has such a difficult time understanding this, and while he continues to support Jesus the only way he knows how, He hasn’t accepted Jesus as the son of God who will save us. Sometimes sitting back and accepting is the best thing to do.
This brings me to another conclusion, while Judas is considered “the bad seed” because He “betrays” Jesus, He knew it had to be done. I feel there is a lot to his back story, and maybe the betrayal of Jesus came when He accepted silver for it, but his faith was accepting the inevitable. I know this thinking is way far off what most people believe, but I think Judas had to be one of the most faithful of the apostles to do what he did. If this was asked of Peter, would it have ever happened?
All in all, as Jesus/God/Holy Spirit are with us always, we need to be open to the “bad” as well as the good. Look for the guidance from each, deny the normal reaction oneself naturally has, reach out and open the communication with each to seek the understanding. If understanding is beyond us (many times it is) seek accepting, even if it feels like betrayal.August 30, 2021 at 18:57 in reply to: September 5, 2021, Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time #1737
While raising my children, I often found the more their sister or brothers said to stop doing something, the more they did it. I actually laughed out loud when I read the statement “but the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it”. I’m not sure why I found it so funny, I mean it’s Jesus right? We should listen to Him! But today as I read this I thought, “you go Jesus…. Way to use reverse psychology!”
On a more serious note, I do know and believe Jesus performed miracles. Many more than what we see in written word. But praying about this gospel, I feel like this is a lot more than a single miracle. This is a miracle that he performed on the followers. While he took the man aside and restored his hearing and his speech, he also open the ears and the voice of all the people. While the mans faith in God healed him, Jesus was the “creator” of that miracle. Today, He opens our ears to hear Him, whether it be through the gospel, our neighbors or our enemies. We need to ask that our ears be open to hear His word in our daily life. We need to be the voice that is no longer speechless to express our knowledge, to allow the spirit to use us to spread the word.
In today’s time, it’s easy to look the other way. Condone not having empathy to our brothers and sisters. We need to pray that Jesus will perform a miracle on us to hear His message coming from others. It’s easy to “pick sides”, but it is imperative we listen to each other’s message. These are messages provided by a “healed” voice, that are landing in once deaf ears.
While I believe this miracle happen, I believe this miracle still happens today.
Gods blessing to all.August 21, 2021 at 20:33 in reply to: August 22, 2021, Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time #1635
It’s funny how different things stand out to different people. The one thing that I’ve known forever, was taught it over and over about how the apostles were chosen. But reading the phrase “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” It continues to talk how Jesus knew who would stay or leave and knew His betrayer.
I guess the realization hit me that indeed, while Jesus spoke, taught and prayed with everyone, he knew not everyone was a believer, maybe they didn’t agree with what he said. Yet, He continued to teach, and pray with them and for them.
Knowing all the while that there was somebody there that would eventually betray Him. But, the Father allowed it. Brought this “betrayer” among all of apostles with Him. Not once did He stop what He was doing saying in spite of knowing Judas would betray Him. The thing that struck me is that while he did betray Jesus, He may have believed all He was saying and doing. Similar to us as we “betray” Jesus when we are sinning. Doesn’t mean we don’t believe, just that we made a bad choice. God still allows us to be with Jesus. He allowed all those non believers to “be” with Jesus, until they chose not to be.
For me the choice is simple! The actions maybe not so simple, as I know I am far from perfect. I continue to believe and ask for forgiveness and know God welcomes me back just as Jesus does.
Thanks for posting this. Currently, situations with my family and friends seem kind of ominous. Hearing of cancer for two members, and a friend who’s husband need open heart surgery. Our great nephew at 5years old passed away (while it was expected, it’s never easy). I continue to pray for them, and I know God is listening and the spirit is with each of them. The problem I’m struggling with is I feel completely helpless. I keep asking God what I can do for each, and the “only” thing I can provide is my prayer. While it is very powerful, it still feels like I can do nothing to help. This conversation and journey I’m taking with God is one I haven’t yet experienced and I’m trying to find the balance.
Once again you insight is inspiring. I pray one day I can move fluidly between these conversations, and understand more.
This is actually a new way of thinking for me. I always would focus on the fact the the babies “communicated” the bond between Jesus and John the Baptist. While the spirit was definitely present and allowing unspoken words.
The acceptance of Mary in this is also discussed at an intimate level between Elizabeth and Mary. No doubt, while Mary accepted what Gods plans were, I feel she needed the support from her family. Something I can relate to.
While I can’t say I was “like” Mary, I can say that when I was worried about being pregnant, and prayed and prayed- and even before I know for certain I knew. It scared the heck out of me, and with God, I was able to accept this. I could not have gotten through that without having that nudge from God. Again like Mary, my family was my support as well. I think that is important in this message to show that not only the one God chooses to be the messenger, but those around us are part of the message as well.
This story between Mary and Elizabeth seems to be as much about the proclamation of Mary being pregnant as it is telling me today we carry Jesus with us as well! We may not physically be carrying a baby, but we do carry Him with us.
There are times when you can feel the presence of Christ in a person, and while you may not have a baby within us to leap as Elizabeth did, our body does provide us physical signals, goosebumps, increased heart rate and at time ones mind just “knows”.
The fact that the holy spirit works within us (Jesus being in us)to allow us to be the instrument to deliver the message somebody is meant to hear is humbling.
Mary accepted this whole heatedly, and her message was delivered. How many times can we say we felt that “feeling” when we felt we became the messenger for God,Jesus, the Holy Spirit.
As a Eucharistic minister, I am humbled that there are time when I present Christ to somebody, and the intensity the connection may be compared to the connection Elizabeth and Mary felt. That feeling deep within.
I guess this gospel for me tells so much more than a visit between Mary and Elizabeth. It’s the message that each of us carries Jesus, each of us can honor Jesus by remaining g humble among each other, and each of us can allow ourselves to be the instrument Jesus uses to deliver a message.
This gospel is compelling but confusing. The one thing I felt certain of that never hit me before, is it feels like Jesus in His own way is trying to let the people know of His and Gods oneness. The first part of the trinity. He quotes the prophets saying “they shall b taught by God”, and while they called Him teacher the never made the connection.
He then emphasizes that He is the bread of life. Again to this day I don’t feel like many people truly believe or understand that statement. This is the beginning of the explanation of the Eucharist as we know. Accepting of the “flesh” of Christ, His being, and understanding that fully accepting Jesus will continue to fill ones soul and nourish a person more than any “food” can. He again explains that our physical need will always need to be replenished- His will always be fulfilling- and accepting it is all we need to do. The “hunger” will go away when we accept.