June 19, 2016

Jun 23, 2016

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time -

A Reflection by Fr. Leo

 

Today’s gospel from Luke, chapter 9:18-24, is based on the earlier parallel passage in Mark’s gospel, chapters 8:27-9:1.  Much has been changed in Luke’s version, because Luke writes for a different audience, Peter is not glorified here.  Peter is not the rock on which Christ will build his church.  But what remains is much the same.  The identity of Jesus as a suffering messiah, and discipleship as following in Christ’s foot steps remain.

 

If Luke were to write another version for us today, what might that look like?  I think he would affirm Jesus as the Christ, and the call to live as Jesus lived would also stand.  But, what does it mean to live like Jesus today?

 

Wouldn’t Christ’s value system, his respect for human dignity and the concepts of mercy, and forgiveness and raising human kind up, still hold?  I think so, but I also believe that it is as difficult, if not more so, to live with Jesus’ mindset today. The world has become a violent place, with the threat of violence hanging over us more now than a few years ago.  Our presidential race seems to me to be less civil than any I remember, bordering on crazy.  And with religion losing credibility there doesn’t seem to be a voice of wisdom to be heard. This is where we need to ask ourselves what Jesus asked his disciples, who do you say that I am.

 

In asking this question we affirm the living Christ as our source of ultimate power and wisdom.  Not the power of the world, but a wisdom that can raise us up in the worst of circumstances.  Jesus is the Christ, the one who is with us to raise humanity from it’s sin.  I still believe that and pray that the old phrase, “Sometimes it needs to get worse before it gets better” is true and that better is right around the corner.  I do worry about the way things are going all over the world and wonder what I am called to do to make a difference.  As each of us places our trust in God we need to ask that of ourselves, “How am I to live, how am I called to act to bring God’s wisdom and peace into the world.  This week let us bring this question to our prayer, and in our dialogue with God, seek God’s wisdom and guidance.