One Minute Reflection – 25 September – Friday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, Psalms 144:1, 2, 3-4, Luke 9:18-22 and the Memorial of Saint Finbar (c 550– 623) Bishop of Cork
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised.” … Luke 9:22
REFLECTION – “Jesus made His way of His own free will towards the sufferings Scripture had foretold. He had frequently predicted them to His disciples and had even severely rebuked Peter, who had received their discovery with indignation (Mt 16:23). Finally, He showed how they were the cause of the world’s salvation. This was why, to the men coming to arrest Him, He referred to Himself as: “I am he whom you are seeking” (cf. Jn 18:5.8) (…) He was struck, covered with spittle, mocked, tortured, scourged and, in the end crucified. He allowed two outlaws, one at His right and one at His left, to share His suffering. Classed alongside murderers and criminals He took vinegar and gall, fruits of a bitter vine. He was struck in mockery by a reed, pierced by a lance in His side and, in the end, laid in a tomb.
All this He suffered while working our salvation (…) By His thorns He brought an end to the punishment laid on Adam, since the latter, having sinned, received this sentence: “Cursed be the ground because of you! Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you” (Gn 3:17-18). With the gall He took to Himself all that is bitter and painful in mortal life and sorrowful to men. With the vinegar He accepted human nature’s decline and bestowed on it, it’s restoration to a higher state. By the purple he symbolised His royalty; with the reed He indicated how weak and feeble the devil’s power is. Being slapped, He made known our enfranchisement [just as we do in the case of a slave]. He bore with the abuse, punishment and beating due to us.
He was struck in the side, making Him more like Adam. But, far from bringing forth the woman who, by her straying, gave birth to death, He made a spring of life to gush out (Gn 2:21; Jn 19:34). And this gives life to the world by means of a twofold stream – the first renews and re-clothes us in the garment of immortality in the baptistery and following this birth, the second, feeds us at God’s table, just as one suckles a newborn child.” … Theodoret of Cyrus (c 393-c 460) Bishop – Treatise on the Incarnation, 26-27
PRAYER – O God of love, You sent Your beloved Son to the world to proclaim the Good News of Salvation, to heal every illness and to cure all infirmity of body and soul. Help us to continue the mission of the merciful Christ in the service towards our neighbour, preaching the Gospel and offering our help in whatever way we can. May the example of Your saints, teach us how to love and serve You. Through their intercession, grant us the grace to go forth in love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.