By Fr. Andrew Kelly
25TH SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – SEPT. 23
What is it about Jesus’ cross that disciples way back then, and disciples still today try to resist and ignore?
In last week’s Gospel (Mark: 8:27-35) Peter rebuked Jesus when Jesus brought up the topic of the cross. Peter preferred resistance to and ignoring the cross.
In Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 9:30-37) Jesus talks again about the cross:
“The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.”
The text further says about the disciples (2012 included):
“But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.”
Maybe afraid because the disciples really did understand. So the subject got changed to: “…who was the greatest.”
The cross is always a problem in believing communities. The temptation is to ignore and resist in light of Jesus’ understanding of the cross:
“Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”
It is so much easier and enjoyable discussing ambition and greatness. But that is resisting, ignoring and failing to understand the demands of being a 2012 self-emptying, self-surrendering and self-abandoning servant community for the sake of others.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Sept. 23-30
Wis 2:12, 17-20
Prv 21:1-6, 10-13
Dn 7:9-10, 13-14 or Rv 12:7-12ab
Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48