October 13, 2018
We continue with Chapter 10 of Mark’s Gospel.
Last week, Jesus taught his followers to have the attitude of a child – that of dependence on God.
Today, we hear of an attitude that is contrary to dependence on God. The man has many possessions. Consequently, he is used to be in control. That’s why he asked Jesus, “What must I do?” It’s hard for him to surrender that control and depend on God. For him, that is impossible.
What in my life makes me think that I am in charge, and makes it impossible for me to depend on God?
Image source: www.agnusday.org
October 7, 2018
Jesus tells us to “accept the kingdom of God like a child.”
Children depends on their parents for everything. So do we on God.
As we get older, naturally, we can, and we need to do more things for ourselves. But we then run the risk of thinking that we are in charge, and that we do not need God.
Everything comes from God, beginning with our very existence.
Image source: Charles Lock Eastlake - Christ Blessing Little Children, 1839,
September 29, 2018
The word small is one of the themes of today’s Gospel.
Be small. Thinking of themselves as important, the disciples tried to stop a person who was driving out demons. The man did so in Jesus’ name, but the disciples said, “he does not follow us.”
Care for the little ones, Jesus tells us.
And even a cup of water is enough. Small things.
St. Therese, the Little Flower, whose feast day is tomorrow lived the spirit of Jesus’ Gospel well. She did small things with great love.
Image source: Diocese of Westminster Youth Ministry, http://dowym.com
September 15, 2018
“Who do You Say that I Am?”
When Peter, in the names of the disciples, identified Jesus as the Christ, “he warned them not to tell anyone about him.”
Yet, Jesus “spoke openly” about his suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection.
Jesus is not hiding his identity. Nor is he afraid of people knowing about him.
What important is the correct understanding of who Jesus is, the Jesus who accepts the cross and crucifixion out of love. Peter and the disciples either do not have or are not ready for this understanding.
Maybe it’s time to evaluate my own understanding of who Jesus is. I need to ask Jesus for the wisdom to know him as he truly is, and not my misconceptions or my own projections about him.
September 8, 2018
“He Comes to Save You”
In last week’s Gospel, Jesus was in the Jewish area. There, he “summoned the crowd again” and taught them.
Today, this Gospel passage begins with a list of names. They are all locations in gentile territory. Jesus goes there to bring God’s salvation.
Jesus brings God’s salvation to both Jews and gentiles, as Isaiah had prophesized (today’s First Reading). Salvation is God’s plan for humanity. Salvation is always God’s initiative.
September 1, 2018
“Jesus Summoned the Crowd”
We humans are bodily beings. We express our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions through perceivable attitudes, body language, facial expressions, words, actions, etc. In fact, we communicate our very being in the same manners.
So do we express and communicate our relationships with God and with our brothers and sisters through rituals, actions, words, emotions, etc.
What matters, as Jesus teaches us, is that our external expressions must not for show. They must come from our hearts.
It might help to preserve this awareness and attitude when we remember that our existence and all we are come from God’s graciousness. As we again see in this Gospel passage, it was Jesus who took the initiative to instruct us the way of God as “Jesus summoned the crowd” and taught them.
August 25, 2018
“We Have Come to Believe”
“You have the words of eternal life.” “You are the Holy One of God.”
Those are affirmative statements of faith that Peter professes. They are even more significant considering that “many of Jesus’ disciples” now walk away from him.
Peter and the rest of the Twelve could not have just profess such faith in Jesus on the spot. It is the result of a process. Peter says, “We have come to believe and are convinced.”
Faith is first and foremost a gift from God. However, Peter and his friends “have come to believe” in Jesus because they have been with him, listened to him, and shared life with him.
Only by spending time with Jesus can we come to believe and are convinced that he has the words of eternal life and that he is the Holy One of God.
(Image source: https://www.qumran2.net )