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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jul 27, 2019 | church, contemplation, imitation of Christ, Jesus Christ, listening, Mass readings, reflections, sacrifice, St. Paul, St. Therese, suffering, trust
|Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay|
1st Reading: Genesis 18:1-10a
Resp. Psalm Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
2nd Reading: Colossians 1:24-28
Gospel: Luke 10:38-42
It sounds strange that St Paul would say that in his flesh he is filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body which is the Church. It sounds like he is saying that Jesus did not do enough by dying on the Cross for us. This is one of the reasons that the Church must be the interpreter of Scripture and not just anything we ourselves might think or feel. This passage means that Jesus's sacrifice for us was so great, so magnanimous that he lets us share in his sufferings even though our suffering is not needed to redeem His Church. Our sufferings are wanted by God, as Archbishop Sheen would say, to pay for, as it were, the conversion of souls. As an example, St Therese suffered interior, spiritual darkness so that other hearts who would not ask for this grace, could be pierced with God's marvelous light.
Jesus asks us to suffer with and for His Church to bolster us in imitation of Him. He does ask us to carry the cross to the end. To me, it's like a father who is painting his house and his young son asks if he can help, so he lets him hold the paint can. The father doesn't need his help and he knows that his son will probably spill the paint and get distracted. He appreciates his son's offer and welcomes his gesture to work with him and be a part of the task at hand.
In the Gospel, Mary has chosen the better part - listening to Jesus. We need to listen to God first before we act, or else our actions will not produce good results. Sometimes we might think that God tells us to do impossible things. They are only impossible if we don't believe or trust Him.
Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD