Today’s readings tell us that God does not count or measure, God just comes to us to help us become who we were created to be – a son or a daughter of God. The secret to growing into being a son or daughter of God is living with an open heart that is ready to receive the gifts that God continually gives us, using them well, and then giving them away.
Thank you for spending time with me this morning and being brave enough to listen to me for the next few minutes reflecting on this Sunday’s readings. Trust me Sr Phyllis, Fr Jerry, and Leif are hard acts to follow.
I have often heard from friends is that it would be easier to speak in front of an audience than to sing in front of an audience. I am the opposite with music you count the beat know where to start and where to end it’s right there in front of you. Seriously friends here at St Charles, we all have something to say, and we all learn from each other.
Sometimes miracles happen, and when we notice them we respond with thank you God, or as Peter did, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Both responses acknowledge the goodness of God and our awareness that we have more growing to do to realize that God acts for our good and God is always with us.
Let me tell you about the four people keeping vigil over my good friend Tom as he lies on his deathbed, waiting . . . waiting to go on home to heaven. It’s not an unusual story, but it is one of extraordinary love and devotion on the part of his stepson Bud, his sisters Mary and Ann, and his beloved partner Sharon.
Have you ever thought about the fact that we turn to the same ancient Scriptures that John and Jesus read. Whenever I hear a prophetic passage from, say, Isaiah or Jeremiah, I wonder how those same words landed on the ears of Jesus, and I pray that if I could just hear it the way he heard it, that would be enough for me. If I could glean the same message, then I’m on the right path.
Today we celebrate Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The title King doesn’t do much for me for I never knew a king or royalty. Perhaps a better title might be, Jesus Christ, Servant of the Universe.
When Jesus was in the desert for 40 days and tempted, he rejected power or kingship, any type of domination, wealth and fame. Jesus never wanted to be king. He usually went away when people wanted to make him king. The only time he let himself be taken as king is when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey – not a very kingly sight.
One of the lesser-known documents of Vatican II is called Dei Verbum, Word of God. It contains the things the bishops of the world wanted to say about the Bible. And the most radical thing they said? We, ordinary Catholics, should actually read it! They said the church “earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful . . . to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the ‘excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ’” (no. 25).
Today’s Gospel is the story of James and John seeking to be number one. Jesus says, “Can you drink the cup that I drink?” They answer, “Yes, we can!” They did drink the cup Jesus was to drink. James was martyred, John was exiled to the Island of Patmos. Not quite the Number one they thought it would be.