Holy Infant Catholic Church
Weekly thoughts from Father Michael
WEEKLY THOUGHTS 25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME SEPTEMBER 19th 2021
Dear Friends, welcome to the celebration of the 25th Sunday in Ordinary time and the third Sunday in September 2021. Last week, we celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on Tuesday 14th September. The next day Wednesday 15th September was the memorial of our Lady of Sorrows. May our Lady of sorrows accompany all of us experiencing, loss, suffering, pain and grief because our Lady has been at these painful situations.
Last Sunday, Jesus left us with a challenge individually to respond to the question; “Who do you say I am?” Jesus had labored to put before his disciples that their Messiah would suffer rejection, be put to death and eventually rise up to new life. Jesus went on to point out the requirements for true discipleship; “self-denial, take up ones cross- trials and finally follow Jesus. The invitation to walk the way of Christ was not expected of the Messiah as opposed to a conquering Messiah.
The Gospel Reading to us today takes us back to theme of the Cross as Jesus predicts a second time his death. He does it in terms of discipleship that implies powerlessness and vulnerability. This kind of talk made it very uncomfortable for his disciples to hear of betrayal, suffering and death in waiting for the Messiah. Certainly the disciples knew that something important was just about to happen in Jerusalem, and their understanding of the kingdom entailed power and prestige for instance as to who will be the vice President or Prime Minister. Indeed they felt very ashamed before Jesus when he asked them about the power struggle talk on the way.
For Jesus, anyone who wants to be first must be the last and the servant of all. In other words, they are not to seek honor but defer to one another. This is the radical tenet of the kingdom of God. Lowliness is the pathway to greatness in the kingdom. If we wish to be first, we must be prepared to be last. If we wish to be great we must be prepared to be like little children. If we want to be leaders, we must be prepared to be servants of all. To help them understand what he meant, Jesus resorted to a visual lesson.
He took the child in his arms; illustrating his acceptance of this little one making it a policy that His true followers must accept the principle he had laid down. No one would claim to accept the Father and reject Jesus- the Son of the Father- To welcome one is to welcome the other.
We all have a universal call to holiness as disciples of Jesus. Let us walk the way of Christ by welcoming and serving the vulnerable, defenseless children, the despairing poor, the mentally ill and marginalized in our society. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is a great teacher of being concerned to these categories of people without power and most vulnerable.
Let me pray for the grace to accept the challenge of being last and being a servant to all as well as accepting those insignificant with love, compassion like Jesus.