Today’s First Reading(Wisdom 2: 1.12-22):
‘The godless say to themselves, with their misguided reasoning:
“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.
He claims to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a son of the Lord.
Before us he stands, a reproof to our way of thinking,
the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
his way of life is not like other men’s,
From today’s Gospel (Luke 9:22-25):
'Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
Then to all he said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.’'
Jesus tells his disciples about the immense suffering he will soon endure and he invites those who want to follow him to also be prepared to suffer.
Taken from today's Gospel (Luke 13:31-35)
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! So be it! Your house will be left to you. Yes, I promise you, you shall not see me till the time comes when you say:
‘Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!’
After a few days focusing on the letters of St Paul today we turn back to the words of Jesus in the Gospel.
From today's reading (Romans 6:19-23)
‘For the wage paid by sin is death; the present given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
Those Catholic people, always going on about sin and how we are all sinners and that we need to be reconciled to God. Blah, blah, blah….
Well, yeah, we do go on about sin a bit don’t we? Even St Paul in this reading is talking about sin. In fact Paul is a master when it comes to talking about sin! In fact, he is almost obsessed by it!
From today’s Reading (Romans 5:12,15,17-21)
‘As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.’
In today’s reading St Paul describes how Jesus came to undo all the evil that exists in our world. In the passage we have picked out, above, he talks about the disobedience of Adam and the subsequent fall, and how all that was lost has been recovered by Jesus on the Cross. Jesus’ obedience to the Father in doing His Will and not his own has saved all of us.
Suffering. It’s a nasty thought. Nobody wants to suffer, whichever form that suffering may take.
But do we have to suffer? And do we have to embrace our suffering? Today’s world suggests suffering is a bad thing and is to be avoided at all costs. Nobody should have to suffer; we should be free from any suffering.
The Christian view is, as we will discover, quite different. Let us first consider this text from St Peter:
‘My dear people, you must not think it unaccountable that you should be tested by fire.
From today's Gospel passage (Luke 9:18-22):
''The Son of Man' he said 'is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.'
Here Jesus reveals to his disciples the extent of what he must suffer but that this suffering is not the end. In fact, it is the new beginning. Jesus, the new Adam, is going to reconcile the world again to the Father and overcome death itself.
Picture: Catholic Herald
To say Friday evening’s Way of the Cross (or Via Crucis) in Rio was moving would be an understatement of the very highest order.
To watch thousands of young people follow in the footsteps of Christ’s Passion, solemnly joined by their Holy Father, Pope Francis, was a most humbling experience.
The World Youth Day Cross (the same one given to the youth in St Peter’s Square in 1984 by John Paul II) was reverently carried down the street alongside Copacabana Beach, stopping at thoughtful sets, each posing as one of the fourteen stations.