25th Sunday Year B in Ordinary time, 2015, Deep Sea Diving into the Scriptures, a realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Family Prayer around God’s Word, and a Blessing from Iona Abbey Scotland
First Reading: Wisdom 2:12. 17-20
The godless say to themselves,
‘Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us
and opposes our way of life,
reproaches us for our breaches of the law
and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part
and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture,
and thus explore this gentleness of his
and put his endurance to the proof.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’
(Let’s PAUSE and reflect upon this reading, and let us ask ourselves the two questions stated above. That is our PERSONAL response to the Word. This might take a few minutes, try not to rush it. The Psalm and Antiphon is the COMMUNITY response to God’s Word, a bit like a short and sweet Text Message)
Psalm: Ps 53:3-6. 8
The Lord upholds my life.
O God, save me by your name;
by your power, uphold my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
listen to the words of my mouth. R.
For proud men have risen against me,
ruthless men seek my life.
They have no regard for God. R.
But I have God for my help.
The Lord upholds my life.
I will sacrifice to you with willing heart
and praise your name for it is good. R.
Gospel: Mark 9:30-3
After leaving the mountain Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’
Reflection time again……. Can you see and hear the links, connecting the First Reading, and the Gospel? After that, we are then ready for what is to follow…..
DEEP SEA DIVING INTO THE SCRIPTURES
Connecting the Word To the first reading
‘If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part and rescue him.’ God did, indeed, deliver the Son – not by sparing him from ‘cruelty and torture’ but by saving him through his Passion,Death and Resurrection.
To biblical culture
The Greek word for ‘child’ [paidion] also means ‘servant,’ indicating the insignificance of children in Greco-Roman culture where they had no social or legal status. In Isaiah 53:2 ‘paidion’ is used to describe the ‘suffering servant.’ Receiving such a child/servant is, indeed, receiving Christ who is ‘the servant of all.’
A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh
Dear One and All,
There is a certain sense of urgency about today’s Gospel. One can sense Our Lord ramping up the central core of His message. Jesus suspects rather strongly that the road that he is on, will eventually lead to his death. He therefore uses every opportunity he can get to teach his disciples, and prepare them for what will probably happen to him and for the appropriate inner dispositions that the disciples should embody in their own journey to the Cross.
In the midst of all this, he is probably disappointed to hear that their main concern was which of them, was the greatest? I am pretty sure that most of us have experienced similar situations during conversations. Let’s paint a comparable picture. Supposing that you are explaining a plan of action in business to a group of Trainees; at the end of your address to these budding Sales people you invite questions about the project…..some hands go up, and the questioner looking bright and bushy tailed asks when will they get a salary increase! The faces have changed over the centuries but this message remains the same: ‘ are you listening to what I am saying, and do you understand?’ Says the Lord!
I can’t resist in sharing this story with you…. A PARABLE ABOUT PRIDE AND HUMILITY CAUGHT OUT!
A newly commissioned Colonel had just moved into his office. A Private entered with a toolbox. To impress the Private, the Colonel said, “Be with you in a moment, soldier! I just got a call as you were knocking.’ Picking up the phone, the Colonel said, “General, it’s you! How can I help you?” A dramatic pause followed. Then the colonel said “No problem. I’ll phone Washington, and speak to the President about it.” Putting down the phone, the Colonel said to the Private, “Now, what can I do for you?” The Private shuffled his feet, and said sheepishly, “Oh, just a little thing sir. They sent me to hook up your phone!”
The Word of God this weekend speaks to us about “true greatness” in the sight of God and humankind. Let’s go back and have a look at the first Reading from the Book of Wisdom………..The author of the Old Testament Reading is speaking from the point of view of collective experiences of the Lord God. Biblical Wisdom stems from within the feminine characteristic of God. However, in this reading, gentleness and meekness being strength, is often looked upon as a weakness in many societies in our world. To me that is a surface response and observation to this ‘Divine quality’. Let’s focus in on the basis for this strength. It would seem that the origin of this strength is founded on and built upon a personal relationship with God. Of course, in Jesus we see the living embodiment of this passage from the Book of Wisdom. Now there is another point in that first reading which I think needs attention. Let’s look at the attitudes of those who were named as ‘the godless’. Notice how much negative energy is exhibited in this passage? A general pen picture of such people are seemingly, unloving, unhappy, smug, arrogant and unwelcoming of others, because they present as being a step above the rest of us mere mortals!
We need to watch out in ourselves that some of those godless attitudes don’t creep into to our living menu. I have seen shades of this in my own life which causes me to seek Reconciliation. So without going into a public confession to you all, which would be terribly interesting, I think we could all do with a Review of life on this subject.
Now back to the Gospel, Jesus uses the profound image of a small child, as one who is welcome in God’s household. It seems that Jesus was not saying that we should stay immature, but just as a child is ‘open’ to life and love without question from loving parents, we should always have a similar disposition towards God, and practice it in our daily lives with one another.
A child in the society in which Jesus lived had no status; Jesus exalts that status by saying, all are equal in God’s sight, and those who embody that childlike quality, are really welcoming Jesus into their lives as He welcomes them. In the Celebration of the Eucharist, God speaks to us through His Word, always inviting a response from us. In Communion, we are united to Christ and to one another. May we continue to allow ourselves to be strengthened through Word, Sacrament and Community, so that we can truly seek the greatness of Christ-centered service of each other.
OUR FAMILY PRAYER TIME………
Leader: Jesus instructs us to become servants of all. Let us pray that we can so empty ourselves. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
That all members of the Church make the sign of the cross as a pledge of emptying themselves for others. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
That all people come to salvation through a willingness to die to self for the sake of others. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
That those bound in limited understanding of themselves and others through fear may gain the strength to overcome their fear. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
That we become servants of others so that we can be true disciples of Jesus. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
Let’s think back over the past week, and what we have seen on the T.V News, Breaking News on our Mobile Phones and ipads & tablets….who are some of the people in our Global village or need our prayers? You might like to share some of these…………., we pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.
Leader: O God, you deliver us from all harm and take care of us and all our needs: hear these prayers that we might one day take our place with you in glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.
Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe. The abbey was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba, when Iona was part of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.
- The Cross
- ALL WE SHALL TAKE IT.
- The bread……………
- ALL WE SHALL BREAK IT.
- The pain
- ALL WE SHALL BEAR IT.
- The joy………………
- ALL WE SHALL SHARE IT.
- The Gospel……………
- ALL WE SHALL LIVE IT.
- The love…………
- ALL WE SHALL GIVE IT.
- The light……………
- ALL WE SHALL CHERISH IT.
- The darkness…………….
- ALL WE SHALL PERISH IT. Amen.
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