Thursday, June 17, 2010

"But who do you say that I am?"

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (12C), June 20, 2010

BURNING QUESTION: Is Jesus & God the same?
FEATURED BLOG: Awesome Dad Cheat Sheet
STORIES OF PRIESTS: Pope "Rethinks" Clerical Celibacy
PASTORAL HISPANA: Quien dice la gente que soy yo?

Dear Friends,

In this Sunday's Gospel story, Jesus asks a simple question. “Who do the crowds say that I Am?” All volunteer an answer, because describing other people’s opinions requires no personal commitment whatsoever. But then Jesus asks them a tougher question: “Who do YOU say that I am?” Our Discussion Questions will guide your Sunday Bible Study sessions with your family, friends and church groups.

This story is clearly divided into three sections: the first, where Peter answers the question, "Who do you say that I am?" with the reply "The Christ of God." The second section is a prediction of the passion, "The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously." And the third is the news that those who want to follow Christ must take up their own Cross. From this moment onward in the Gospel, Jesus is on his way to Golgotha and the cross.

"Who do you say I am?"

Jesus' question had as much relevancy down the centuries as it did when it was first asked in the northeast corner of Palestine. Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB explains how the replies of the disciples are varied, as are those of each of us today when Jesus, through someone else's lips, asks us the same question, and with increasing frequency and intensity.

In fact, each Christian of every age must give an answer. As Fr. James Gilhooley suggests, we must decide whether we are His disciples or just His fans. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino agrees that it is indeed serious business being a Christian. The enemy is the egocentricity of a world that thinks it does not need God. We must determine who Jesus is for us is, This, according to Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS, is the question and the work of a lifetime. It is the only question that matters.

"The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously."

Notice that this statement echoes the First Reading for Sunday, written five hundred years before Christ. It describes a day of mourning because of “him whom they have pierced.” Fr. John Foley, S. J. says this text portrays Jesus’ divinity perfectly, one who would descend straight into our suffering and would stay with us all the way, not turning back, not forgetting to love us. Jesus tells us he must suffer and die - he must give his blood for us. Today it is in the celebration of the Mass, Fr. Phil Bloom reminds us, that we enter that mystery and receive the remedy for our sins.

As this gospel story ends, Jesus throws the disciples a curve ball. He strictly forbade them to tell this to anyone.” Why? Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains in "The Messianic Secret and the Cross."

We must take up our own Cross

Fr. Alex McAllister SDS points out that many regard Christ as the only person who ever lived who is really worth following - that is except for this teaching on suffering and the Cross. Unfortunately the Cross is not only part of the central message of Christianity. Accepting the Cross is its central requirement.

The litmus-test for Christian orthodoxy, Fr. Ron Rolheiser tells us, is not the Creed. Can you take in bitterness, curses, hatred, and murder itself, and give back graciousness, blessing, love, understanding, and forgiveness? That is the root invitation inside of Christianity. Being Christian doesn’t cause our human differences to disappear and vanish. Fr. Charles Irvin says it is the sharing in all of Christ’s Sacraments that makes our differences irrelevant when it comes to living together in the life of God given us in Jesus Christ.

The Church now proclaims the good news that the Risen Son of Man and Messiah is present among us to create us anew in His own image. We learn what that means in the unique circumstances of our lives through the life and teaching of Jesus. By doing so, Fr. Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B. preaches, we will be able to help fix the corruption and lawlessness that fills the earth, rather than adding to it. It is the very same message that Bretton DeLaria, a Junior at Saint Louis University, saw in the Readings. He was thirsting for Him, for that spiritual food that would reach the depths of his soul and fill that thirst for Christ Jesus.

End of Year of Priests & the Rosary

Pope Benedict presided over the end of Year of Priests last week. In his closing message, he said all the good of the Year for Priests cannot be measured, but that people will certainly see its fruits. He also used this event as an opportunity to "Rethink" Clerical Celibacy. He did this however, not to repeal it but to reinforce it. It is the sign, he says, that God exists and that one allows himself to be seized by passion for Him.

This Saturday, June 19, a worldwide rosary relay event will unite participants around the globe to pray for priests. The faithful are invited to participate by praying a decade of the rosary for priests at a scheduled time, thereby marking the end of the Year for Priests with a 24-hour prayer relay. We have the details here.

We also reflect on the Rosary in real life. Believing in the rosary’s power isn’t the same thing as knowing how to pray, is it? Even knowing literally how to pray it (which prayers on which beads) isn’t the same thing as knowing how to pray it, is it? Plus we share with you a soccer star's show of faith at the World Cup. When England lines up for the national anthems before every game at the World Cup, Wayne Rooney will perform a ritual of his own that has become increasingly familiar to television viewers. He will display a set of rosary beads to signify his Roman Catholic faith.

On the Social Justice front, the USCCB joins the call for the US to reform its immigration laws. The Bishops of the Western hemisphere are calling for the just and humane treatment of migrants, and urging the United States in particular to reform its immigration laws.

Happy Fathers Day, June 21

Sunday, June 21 is Fathers Day. And it invites us to ask a very important spiritual question – what does it mean to call God “Father?” Also, please do take a moment to share this special video message with the Godly Dads in your life as a reminder of what a blessing they are to us.

In another video, country music singer Kenny Rogers has a song called “Water and Bridges,” which highlights a father's pain after losing a child to abortion. Rogers said the song is not about him, but is "really about choices you make when you're young that you pay for when you're old." Plus, Fr. John Flynn, LC reflects on the growing number of children today are in the dark about the identity of their biological father. A recent report looked into Anonymous Parenthood - The Consequences of Sperm Donation.

As you move to Sunday, here's how you can really celebrate "father" on father's day rather than just by giving him more stuff. Also for all the fathers out there, check out the Awesome Dad Cheat Sheet, It's a list of 18 Fatherhood Tips they should’ve handed out at the delivery room. This is quite timely specially when you read this report from a Catholic group that says popular primetime television shows engage audiences daily for an hour. This is longer than the average child gets to spend with his parents. On average, parents spend only 49 minutes with their children every day.

Bo Sanchez reflects fondly on his relationship with his father. "Hug Someone Today While There's Still Time" is his story and it is very timely for all of us today. And finally, we bring back "I Can Only Imagine," one of those truly remarkable stories. Make sure you watch the video at the end. This gripping story of love will remain in your consciousness for a very long time.

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. A blessed and happy Fathers Day to all dads.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

Follow us on Twitter
Click Here to view any of our previous weeks' issues
Click Here to receive a FREE SUBSCRIPTION to this weekly email

No comments:

Post a Comment