Pastor's Desk: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 12th September 2009 in Pastor's Desk

Welcome to you all this Sunday. As I write this piece we are enjoying a rare bit of continuous, warm sunshine! I hope it has lasted to the time you are reading this. The prayers for good weather offered by the Bishop of Ferns, Dr. Denis Brennan, have obviously been answered.

“Who do you say I am?”
We have three very powerful Readings this week. The first, from Isaiah, speaks about the suffering of the just man whose task it is to teach people about God. For us today that idea does not seem strange as we see it lived in the life of Jesus, the Son of God.  But for the Jews of Isaiah’s time it was very strange indeed because for them, bad things did not happen to good people. The good were given blessed lives by God. So Isaiah is trying to break through that thinking to prepare for the future Messiah.

The second reading is from James and is one of my favourites as he pulls no punches; you cannot say you have faith if you never show it in actions. A pious faith that never leaves the church is useless. Christianity is a lived faith and must be made manifest by what we do. It is a huge challenge to each of us to put our faith into action.

The Gospel then tells us of when the apostles gathered with Jesus. Jesus asks them who people say He is and they gladly relate all the ideas people have about him. But then He stops them in their tracks and says; “who do you say I am?” This silences them because it is one thing to say what others think, quite another to give your own beliefs. Peter breaks the silence with his declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Having done well Peter then puts his foot in it, as he is one to do, by remonstrating with Jesus as He tells them how He will have to suffer and die and rise after three days. Peter says this is not to happen but Jesus says “get behind me Satan”. It must have hurt Peter to hear that but Jesus has to get the point across that suffering is going to be part of His mission and the mission of the apostles. Indeed they were all to be martyred for the faith.

The question for us today as individuals is; who do YOU say Jesus is?

Volunteering Sunday
We are currently contacting parish groups with a view to summarising their activities and commitments onto a single page for parishioners to have as a reference point. When that page is completed we will leave it around the church for you all to read and then in a few weeks’ time we will look for volunteers for the range of groups we have in the parish. Remember what James says in the second reading today; “Faith without actions is dead”. Use your God given talents and abilities for the good of the parish.

Have a great week.
Fr. Eoin

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