One Minute Reflection – 27 September – Friday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Tim, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:18–22 and the Memorial of St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“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 – “The scene found n the Gospel reading forms a climax of the Synoptic Gospels. It constitutes the watershed in Jesus’ life. To this point, in accord with the mission given Him by the Father, He has acted messianically and has aroused a sense of who He is, especially in His disciples. Because the shift that takes place in this scene is so important, Luke places it in the context of a prayer of Jesus in solitude. By asking His disciples about His identity, He takes the opportunity to reveal the core of His mission.
Yet, the people’s perception of who He is, is so imperfect, that He cannot use it as a point of departure. Peter’s statement, “you are the Messiah of God” hits the target, yet Peter’s image of the Messiah remains an Old Testament and contemporary one – the Messiah as Israel’s liberator. That is why Jesus forbids them to use the title and, more profoundly, that is why He lays out clearly, what is the true task of the Messiah – to be rejected, to die, to rise again. So that this will not be received as some sort of incomprehensible, mythological event, He immediately explains it’s implications for anyone who wishes to be His disciple – “Take up your cross daily” and “follow” the Messiah in this way.
The required faith embraces the act it includes – discipleship – but not by scheming to gain something – rather, by unconditional loss: “Whoever loses his life for my sake … ” … Cardinal Han Urs von Bathasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the Light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us and the Credo we profess, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled in us. May the intercession of St Vincent de Paul, grant us the grace of following the way of the Cross, to stand beneath it with our Mother, the Mother of God, Ave Maria! We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.