Sunday Reflection, by OSF Associate Joan Caldwell

Oldenburg Sunset

Oldenburg Sunset

Reflection for September 16 2012
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm: 116:1-6, 8-9

Second Reading: James 2:14-18
Gospel: Mark 8:27-35

 

Reflection
I love today’s readings in James.  How comforting to know that we are not saved by faith alone. We are not merely passive observers of our salvation. We are partners. United mystically with Christ, we incarnate Christ for others. We share in his divine life when we live as he lived and unite our Charity to his. We cannot do these good works that we are called to do and be justified on our own. We are not saved by faith alone and we are not saved at all without faith.

 

It is this unity with Christ through grace that also enables us to pick up our crosses and follow him. On our own we would react the same as Simon Peter did when Jesus told the disciples that the Christ must suffer at the hands of those he tried to save, that he would die and after three days rise again. No, God forbid. I don’t want you to suffer and die. We don’t want anyone we love to suffer and die. We don’t want suffering for ourselves either. We’re only human. We all have crosses that come and go or that we carry throughout life. How do we find the strength to deny ourselves, pick up and carry those crosses? How do we make our suffering redemptive? How do we live our lives as he lived? Go back to the beginning of the Gospel reading. Mark’s Gospel is always centered around the question, “Who is this Jesus?”.  Peter answers for all of us with utter assurance, “You are the Christ.”  We can do what we must, suffer what we must, because we are not alone. He is in us and we are in him, united in faith.

 

Prayer
Almighty God, I thank you that my faith is not in myself but in you. How great you are, how wise and wonderful! You love me so much that you allow me to be a partner with Christ in my own salvation. To give back in some small way for what I have been given. To pass it forward. I want to do good to others because you have been so good to me. Christ lives in me and I have the ability to good because you are good, I can be strong because you are strong and when I suffer I am not alone because you are with me. Keep me always in your graces, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

OSF Associate, Joan Caldwell
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg
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One thought on “Sunday Reflection, by OSF Associate Joan Caldwell

  1. What a wonderful prayer–I too am thankful my faith is not in myself any longer, but in Christ who can do all things. This is the 2nd blog today, where I’ve read about our partnership with Jesus–I so agree with this concept, and have seen good changes in myself–growth, progress–because of it. God bless you abundantly–love, sis Caddo

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