• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 14 September 2018 18:59

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 2018

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 8:27-35
 
 

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestIf I ask anybody here if they love to experience pain, particularly physical pain, well I'd think you’re a masochist if you would ever say yes. Well … believe it or not, pain is very necessary in life and ironically pain is life-saving. In fact, Dr Paul Brand, who was a missionary surgeon, worked with a leprous community in one of his missions in India, doing some reconstructive surgery. Sadly, before him, there was a general belief that lepers lost parts of their body or became badly deformed because of rotting flesh. He later on discovered that the cause of these deformities is the loss of the sensation of pain. These people would walk on the ground not knowing that they may have stepped on a piece of glass or other sharp material or they might get burned from holding a hot pan but because they don’t feel anything, they think everything is just alright. Until the time that because of this, they lose their hands, their feet or other parts of their body because it has become so deformed because they can’t feel any pain. In this case, we do need pain to save ourselves. In fact, this finding is so profound that Dr Brand wrote a book entitled, “Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants” (1993). 
 
In today’s Gospel, we see that Jesus, in order to save humankind from sin, needs to suffer and die on the cross. Thereby he needs to experience tremendous pain, not only physical pain from the scourging, the crown of thorns, the heavy cross and the actual crucifixion but he would also experience psychological pain, the pain of being abandoned by his disciples, being insulted by the Pharisees and scribes, mocked by the Roman soldiers and those people watching him die on the cross, and also spiritual pain from the feeling of being abandoned by his heavenly Father. And he did all of these things, not for himself, for Jesus doesn’t need any salvation, but for all of us. 
 
And in the Gospel, this suffering Messiah is the one that Peter wasn’t expecting much more wanting for Jesus to become. In the first part of the gospel, Jesus asked his disciples what do people say about him. Perhaps at this point Jesus wanted to know how people know him so that he would be able to gauge how effective is his ministry so far. The answers that he is receiving is that people know that he might be John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets. Well the answer of the people are quite near to what Jesus is but not exactly. Then he asked his disciples, the people who are always with him 24/7. And Peter being the sort of “spokesperson” for the group said, “You are the Christ!” Most probably, Jesus must have been very pleased of this answer because it means that at least for Peter, he may have understood on the identity and the mission of Jesus. However, this became a total disappointed when Peter remonstrated with Jesus, when Jesus revealed that he must suffer greatly, rejected by the Pharisees and the elders and die and rise from the dead after three days. Obviously, Peter has a different idea on who Jesus is what he should do. 
 
However, Peter got a very sharp rebuke from Jesus even calling Peter, “Satan”. So why is this very sharp rebuke. Most probably, Jesus was reminded of his time in the desert when he was being tempted by the devil. If you can recall, one of the temptation was that the devil was offering Jesus a very comfortable life with all the riches in the world at his feet provided that Jesus worships the devil. So Jesus is reminded that temptation that he should avoid the pain of the cross at all costs. Then he gathered all the crowd and reminded them that if they want to follow Jesus they must carry their cross everyday and follow him. 
 
This gospel for us this week poses several questions about Jesus and also about ourselves. First, if Jesus asks us, “Who do you say I am?” What would be our answer? Do we see Jesus as a stern judge who would be examining with a fine-toothed comb our lives if we have committed any mistakes and punish severely for those? Or do we see Jesus as a brother and a friend who is always there even if we disobey him or turn our back to him and just waiting for us to come to our senses and come back to him. Second, how do we treat pain if ever it happens to us in our lives? Do we treat it with disdain? Do we treat it with respect and accept that it is part of our lives? Lastly, in our lives, we have a cross, could we identify what it is and how do we treat it? 
 
Let us remember always that if we want to follow Christ, we will experience what he experienced, suffering, pain and death but also we must not forget that in following Jesus, we will also experience resurrection and how beautiful is that!!!

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