September 9, 2012
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
The Church throughout the centuries has always been a place of worship and celebration, a place of great mourning for our sins and the sins of others, as well as a place for forgiveness, mercy and jubilation for sins forgiven. At the center of our faith is the Cross. The Cross made holy by Jesus’ sacrificial love. We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross on Friday, September 14, 8:00 AM Mass here (also, 8:15 AM Mass at Holy Cross School). Jesus often speaks to his disciples in paradox, “If you want to save your life, you must be willing to die for me and the Gospel.”
Saul persecuted the first Christians until Jesus visited him in a blinding light, knocking him to the ground. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Only after Saul was confronted with his sin was he able to repent from his blindness of heart. He regained his sight after being prayed over by the Christian Ananias, who immediately baptized him into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus knows that we will be persecuted when we stand up for the truth of God, but allows this because the suffering we endure for and with him will be used to convert the hearts of many people. Saul becameSt. Pauland was able to write the Christians atCorinth, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” -1 Cor. 1:18
St. Paul continues, “When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified…and my proclamations were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
“Yet we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom of this age, nor the rulers of this age who are passing away. Rather, we speak of God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory…” –1 Cor. 2:1-7.
St. Paul also reminds them of their role: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the ‘Day’ will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each one’s work…” -1 Cor. 3:10-13. With fervent love for God and neighbor, let us fulfill our Christian duties and amass the treasures that will withstand the fire.
Sincerely in Christ,
Father Thomas McCabe