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Theology for the common man

25 Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, September 23, 2018

From the beginning of his public ministry Jesus worked in not all too favorable conditions, as He proclaimed the Kingdom of God. Many people, well established in life, who profited from others, who were weak or have no access to power, money, and connections, were not satisfied with the just and merciful attitude of Jesus. The first reading uncovers a thinking of those people, who lurk to the just one in order to silence him because he is obnoxious to them and he could take away their hitherto status and privileges. Certainly the religious leaders of Israel did have reason to be anxious. They didn’t like the activity of Jesus who called himself the Son of God and who proclaimed to the common people a new command of God, according to the criterion of merciful love. Words from the Book of Wisdom could best described their thinking: “Let us beset the just one (…). Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test (…). Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him”. It is unbelievable how full of prophecy were these words, to the inspired author of the 2nd century before Christ, which applies to the paschal mysteries of Jesus Christ. Today’s Gospel shows that Jesus knew what would happen to him. From the beginning He prepared his disciples for that moment, foretold to them, that because of his teaching “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and then will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise”. Jesus revealed to them this truth, even if they didn’t understand it and were afraid to question him. The same way he explains to them that those events of his death and resurrection will be the medium of salvation of the people, bringing them freedom from the burden of ties of sin, of selfishness, and of exploitation of ones by others. It is sad however that his disciples did follow of the thinking of this world, which relied on exploitation and vainglory, domination of ones over others, of those who want to have first places. To change their earthly mentality Jesus put before them, as an example of faithfulness and innocence, a child who is able to believe in his salvific mission which changes the face of the earth.