Saturday, September 15, 2012 by Food for Thought
MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS
FirstReading: 1 Cor 10:14-22
Psalm: Ps 116:12-13, 17-18
Gospel: Jn 19:25-27 Or: Lk 2:33-35
The Lord brings his Sermon on the Plain to a close. He says “my words (i.e., the words I’ve spoken in this sermon) are a solid foundation on which to build your house. Build your house on these my words and no force will succeed in knocking it down, will succeed even in shaking
So it is by the words of the sermon that we are to live our lives. This is what discipleship is: taking Jesus’ words seriously and putting them into practice. Being convinced of the truth of Jesus words, recognizing the wisdom in them is spiritually a very healthy state of mind. But this sort of mental or emotional acceptance of Jesus’ words is not discipleship. Discipleship expects that Jesus’ words be lived out, that they dictate behavior.
The problem, though, is that many of the words Jesus spoke in this sermon are outrageous: “Blest are you poor; blest are you who hungerand weep; blest will you be when men hate, ostracize and insult you for my sake.” “Love your enemies” … “Do good to those who hate you” … “If someone steals your coat, give him your shirt as well” … “Give to all who beg from you” … “Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.”
It’s hard to believe. Is Jesus really serious about this? These outrageous statements: are they to be the foundation on which we’re to build our house, that is, by which we are to live our lives? It’s hard to believe: Jesus is really serious about this.