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Theology for the common man

24 Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The power of faith, confirmed by life, is a theme of the readings today. First, Isaiah shows the power of that faith and of totally trusting the Servant of God, Yahweh, who will come to fulfill the will of God by dying for sinful humankind. Later, St James demonstrates the value of faith which is to be confirmed by good deeds; only in this way, the faith becomes the key, which opens the gate to eternal life. It is about a living faith, which sees people in need and helps them, confirming in that way, the faith in God. At last, the Gospel is focused on the basis of that faith, which is the person of Jesus Christ, who appears as foretold by Isaiah, a humble Servant of God, who will die on the cross for the salvation of the people. The first reading shows a barbaric and unjust treatment of the Servant of the God, Yahweh; the Gospel – a free choice of love, of Jesus, ready to die for his people, becoming for them a reason for reciprocal love of God in daily life, the second reading speaks about. Pay special attention to the fragment of today’s Gospel that encourages trusting in Jesus and recognizing in Him, a foretold Servant of God, the Messiah. Jesus asks his disciples two questions: “Who do people (so called a “world”) say I am?”; and “Who do you (the Church) say that I am?” These questions are also valid for us. In answering, we have to know what world we live in and how do we understand the mission of the Church in this world. A deep response to these questions comes to us from Simon Peter, who in the name of the disciples recognizes in Jesus, a foretold Messiah. The most important connection with Peter will not damage our faith and the faith of the Church, even when Peter sometimes would show his human weakness, in its understanding, being under the influence of the devil. The way of the cross Jesus is speaking about and encourages everyone to follow, is an ultimate criterion of salvation. This way of the cross finds its way, in the testimony of love, in the everyday life of the followers of Jesus St. James that speaks about today in his Letter.