Daily Reflection – Sep 23, 2018
Sunday 23 September 2018
First Reading: WIS 2:12, 17-20
The Lord upholds my life.
PS 54:3-4, 5, 6 AND 8
Second Reading: JAS 3:16—4:3
Gospel Reading: MK 9:30-37
Today’s Note: Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men. (Mark 9:31)
What a remarkable statement! As he begins his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus tells his disciples—and us—that he will be handed over. He will become passive, powerless in our hands. He will leave it up to us to decide what to do with him. It’s just as the prophet Isaiah had said, “Like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
This is a strong contrast to everything we have seen Jesus do so far. From the moment he burst onto the scene, Jesus was at the center of attention—healing people, contending with opponents, calming storms, and multiplying bread. He always took the lead. He always spoke with authority. He was the one shaping the story. But at the cross, where it matters the most? Jesus remained quiet, humble, and vulnerable.
The truth is, this is what Jesus intended all along. He came as God’s gift to us. A gift doesn’t tell the recipient how to use it. He left it up to us to decide how we were going to receive him. We didn’t have to reject him as many of his people did. We didn’t have to deny him as Peter did. We didn’t have to kill him as the Romans did. We could have embraced him and accepted his message of salvation. But we didn’t.
And still God handed him over. He didn’t take back his gift.
Even today, God continues to hand Jesus to us. At every Mass, on every altar, in every Communion line, Jesus is placed in our hands as God’s gift of salvation. None of us are worthy to receive him. None of us accept him as fully as we should. But that doesn’t stop him. He still gives himself to sinful men and women. He still offers his salvation to us. Let’s return his gesture and hand ourselves over to him.
“Lord, I am not worthy to receive you. Please keep speaking your words to me so that I may be healed.”