Ang TOTOong Balita ngayong ika-24 Linggo Ng Karaniwang panahon. #MUKHA

Sunday Gospel Reflections
Fr. Toto Cerada, SDB
Mary Help of Christians Parish, Calamba City

Ang TOTOong Balita ngayong ika-24 Linggo Ng Karaniwang panahon.

#mukha

Mark 8: 27-35

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 IS 50:5-9A

The Lord GOD opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
if anyone wishes to oppose me,
let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
Let that man confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial Psalm PS 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

R. (9) I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I love the LORD because he has heard
my voice in supplication,
because he has inclined his ear to me
the day I called.

R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The cords of death encompassed me;
the snares of the netherworld seized upon me;
I fell into distress and sorrow,
and I called upon the name of the LORD,
“O LORD, save my life!”

R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gracious is the LORD and just;
yes, our God is merciful.
The LORD keeps the little ones;
I was brought low, and he saved me.

R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.

For he has freed my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 JAS 2:14-18

What good is it, my brothers and sisters,
if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, ”
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.

Indeed someone might say,
“You have faith and I have works.”
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.

Alleluia GAL 6:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord
through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.”

Half Christ

Reflection on 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 16, 2018
Mark 8:27-35

Several years ago, I gave a talk on the introduction to Christology to a group of young Filipino professionals who wished to deepen their spirituality. The first question I asked them as we commenced the short course was, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” The answers were varied. Some gave a dogmatic formula like Jesus is God, one quoted the Bible saying Jesus is the Word made flesh, one expressed boldly that Jesus is Savior and Lord, and the rest shared personal convictions like Jesus is their closest friend, or Jesus is their Shepherd. All these answers were right, but nobody claimed that Jesus is the Christ. Considering that our subject was Christology, we missed the basic Jesus’ title, in Greek, “Christos,” in Hebrew, “Messiah,” and translated into English, the Anointed One. Fortunately, around two thousand years ago, Simon Peter was able to spell the title when Jesus Himself asked the question.

Going deeper into our Gospel today, we are at chapter 8 of the Gospel of Mark. Since Mark has 16 chapters, we are literally in the middle of this second canonical Gospel. Yet, today’s reading does only happen to be in the middle of the Gospel, but it turns out to be the turning point of the Gospel. In the first eight chapters, Mark narrates Jesus’ ministry in Galilee and some other Gentile regions in the north of Israel. Jesus is doing wonders and teaching with authority. He can draw a lot of people, and some of them will be close followers called His disciples. Meanwhile, the last eight chapters, Jesus begins to journey down south and reaches His destination in Jerusalem. There, He will face his tormentors, and He will meet His passion, death and resurrection.

Peter gets the bulls-eye answer. After all, Peter’s profession is what Mark intends to convey to his readers, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mk. 1:1).” Unfortunately, when Jesus reveals His suffering and death, it does not sit well with Peter’s idea of the Messiah. Perhaps Peter gets stuck with the concept of a powerful and conquering Christ that will lead Israel into victory.  Jesus has been preaching about the coming of the Kingdom, teaching unforgettable lessons, and performing unmatched miracles. Surely, nothing, not even the great Roman empire could beat this Messiah. However, Peter just desires the first half of the Gospel, and cannot be at peace with the other half of the Gospel. If Peter and other disciples want to accept Jesus fully, then they need to embrace the other half of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as well. Following Jesus does not stop in Galilee where things are just awesome, but it has to go down to Jerusalem, where the persecution and death lurk. Thus, Jesus declares, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. (Mk. 8:34).”

Often we are like Peter. We call ourselves Jesus’ disciples and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but in reality, we just want half of Jesus or parts of the Gospel. We go to the Church and worship God, but we do not want to soil our hands in helping our brothers and sisters in need. Married couples enjoy the benefits of marriage, yet refuse to see children as a gift of God. Religious men and women vow to serve the Lord and His Church, but often, we serve our own interests and desires. No wonder G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” As we try to answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you think that I am?”, we are invited to reflect and to accept Jesus and His Gospel, not half, but the whole of Him.

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP
with Harry Setianto Sunaryo SJ, Xenon Oble and Marvin Obedo

 

Here we find the power of intercession & help for others. Bring someone to Jesus. Pray for his need on his behalf. How beautiful it would be to see people helping & praying for one another.

The 2 struggles in prayer life are finding d time 4 & not falling asleep during prayer. Jesus gave us an example. We may not perfectly follow him, but at least we try & struggle. Just don’t give up.

Unrequited love, one that is not reciprocated, is most painful. But that love is the most powerful because it comes from within and does not depend on others. Love. Just love. Don’t expect.

Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *