Archive for September, 2012
Reflecting on to-day’s entrance antiphon brings us directly into prayer with God acknowledging his right just treatment of misdeeds committed, by not obeying the commandments; personally we can admit we are careless in our commitments as followers of Jesus and we humbly beg his mercy. Give glory to your name according to the bounty of your mercy.
In the first reading Moses asks Joshua; “Are you jealous on my account? If only the whole people of God were prostrate. And the Lord gave his Spirit to them all.” In this reading and in the Gospel to-day, the message of God wishing that more people would desire that his Spirit enter their hearts enabling them to recognise the Word of God in the Scriptures. In the Gospel acclamation John’s 17 : 17 “Your word is truth, O Lord, consecrate us in the truth.”
These words are spoken to the new disciple Nathanael who is amazed Jesus knows him even though it is Nathanael’s first encounter with Jesus. Jesus not only knows him but promises he will see greater things happen for he will see the very angels of God. Nathanael professes his faith in Jesus as Son of God and King of Israel. Nathanael was steeped in his history and culture and was quick to recognise the identity of Jesus.
Blessed be God in his angels and in his saints. Blessed be God who created the angels. Blessed be God for creating our guardian angels. Blessed be God for Gabriel who announced to Mary the annunciation, for Michael who put Satan down to Hell and for Raphael who came to cure Tobias.
Even though the disciples had been sent out to proclaim the Kingdom of God we now see that his identity is still not understood by them. When he asks them no one except Peter comes up with the correct answer. The others hear what Peter says and immediately Jesus tells them to tell no one who he is. Each one must come to know Jesus personally for him/herself. This is what Jesus invites us to a personal loving relationship with him. The more we know him the more we love him.
Herod the tetrarch of Galilee has heard about Jesus. He wonders if he is John the Baptist returned to life even though Herod had had John killed. Is Jesus one of the old Jewish prophets come back. He hears rumours about Jesus and is puzzled about his identity. He does nothing though to find out the truth about Jesus. He misses the opportunity of finding Jesus and listening to him.
Here the disciples receive their mission from Jesus. They have learnt about the Kingdom of God. It is not a Kingdom of might and power. Being dependent on God and not material resources are the key elements of the Kingdom of God. We may have nothing materially and still we can proclaim the Kingdom by the way we live for Jesus. He is the centre of the Kingdom. If we lose our way we can return to him as we are, and continue to proclaim the Kingdom of God by walking in his footsteps, like the first disciples.
Jesus is surrounded by people listening to his words when a message is brought to him that his mother and some of his relatives would like to see him. Jesus says all those who hear his words and put them into practice are his mother and brothers, Of course, Mary is the listener and doer of his words par excellence. That is why he has come into the world so we all get a chance to be part of his family. Mary is the first one in that family, for she heard the word of God and always put it into practice.
The function of a lamp is to give light in the darkness. Without a lamp we do not see in the dark. It would be pure nonsense to light a lamp and then go to the trouble of hiding it. We would be defeating the purpose of a lamp. The lamp has to be placed in a suitable prominent position to dispel the darkness of a wide area.
Here Jesus has been talking directly to the twelve. They listen but do not understand. Moving into modren times we have seen how Mother Teresa of Calcutta understood these words of Jesus. She reached out to the oppressed, the marginalised and the poor. She knew what she was doing. She welcomed them as she would welcome Jesus and the One who sent him. She was the human face of God to so many.
“Jesus made his way through the towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. With him were the twelve and certain other women…..Who provided for them out of their own resources.” Luke 8 : 1-3
Here we have a fine example of how people came together to build up the body of Christ.