Greetings on this the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Is 50:5-9a; Ps 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35
Notes: It’s canning season.
In Florida it is always canning season, but for the rest of the country canning is in full swing.
We can fruits and vegetables to preserve what we can from the harvest to be enjoyed as much of the year as possible. After we preserve the natural goods we store them on a shelf in a cool and dark place. At the ready for when we want them.
The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
Does this sound like someone who wants to be a preserve or jello or jam?
I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord
through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Peter would have none of it.
He wanted to preserve Jesus.
He wanted to can him.
We want to store up for ourselves everything that is good.
But Jesus’ life was a life of being poured out.
He, paradoxically, offers us more life than if we simply want to just can him.
That is, to put Jesus in a category, a moment.
To put Jesus in a special place, in a cool and dark storage place, hidden in our hearts.
At the ready for when we need him.
We can’t can the gospel.
We shouldn’t even try.
But Jesus’ life was a life of being poured out and served in the now. Not later.
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.”
Peace be with you,