Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reflection for the 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – Nothing New?

Is Qoheleth right? Is there really nothing new under the sun?

It may seem like that sometimes as we go through our daily routines. We may feel stuck in a rut. We may even look back on our own history or history in a broader sense, see common patterns, and wonder if perhaps everything is merely repeated over and over again.

But there is something new. God did something new. He became Man and lived among us. He died for our sins. He rose from the dead. He ascended into Heaven. He comes to live in our souls when we are in a state of grace. He gives Himself to us Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. If we have remained faithful and repented of our sins, He welcomes us into Heaven at the end of our earthly lives

So Qoheleth was wrong after all. He couldn't have known it at the time he wrote, but he understands now that there is indeed something new under the sun.

Friday – Important Information

Jesus imparts some highly important information to His disciples in today's Gospel: “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Only if the disciples understand these words will they understand Jesus' true character and mission. Only if they grasp these words will they be able to face the future with full faith, hope, and love. Only if they embrace these words will they be able to fulfill their own roles in God's plan of salvation.

But they don't understand what Jesus says. They don't understand, grasp, or embrace Jesus' words...not until much later. Today the question becomes, “Do we truly understand Jesus' important information and its meaning for our lives?”

Saturday – A Hidden Meaning

Yesterday we heard Jesus' prediction of His death and resurrection. Today we learn more about the disciples' lack of understanding. Luke tells us, “But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it...”

The Greek word for “hidden” here is parakaluptō. It is made up of a root word meaning “hide” and a prefix that indicates “from close-beside.” So the word suggests something that is hidden in plain sight, something that is missed because people are trying to look too far out.

So the disciples missed the point because they weren't looking or listening closely enough. Their thoughts were actually traveling too far afield. Perhaps they had grand visions of an earthly kingdom or a political revolution. They couldn't focus in on reality. So they didn't understand Jesus' words.

Jesus, help us focus in on You and on the true meaning of what You have to say to us. May we not miss Your message because we are concentrating too hard on what we want to hear. Amen. 

(Information about Greek vocabulary comes from HELPS Word Studies on

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