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Sunday 24th


Ordinary time 12/09/2021 year B, Mk 8, 27-35

Nowadays we are in an ever-greater hurry: emails want instant replies, computers and mobile phones become quicker and quicker. We think in tenths of seconds rather than seconds. Everything needs to be done yesterday. Yet there seems to be less time for reflection. Patience and waiting are at a premium so much so we miss what is happening around us and lose focus. We start thinking about what to do next before we’ve finished what we are doing now.

Peter was certainly not chosen for his patience as todays Gospel reveals. He rightly recognised Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the one Chosen by God to set us free. However, Peter’s image and understanding of the Messiah was completely misguided. Suffering, rejection, ignominious death had no place in his image of the Messiah. Yet, despite being called Satan, he did not walk away but continued to follow Jesus. It may even be that this failure and knowing Jesus had not rejected him, (only what he said), that enabled him to continue to follow Jesus after his open denial of ever knowing him on that fateful Thursday night. He accepted his cross out of love just as Jesus did and, like Jesus, he died on one.

The cross, an ancient murderous weapon of choice

was used to shame its lowly victim and silence any with a voice.

It was gruesome indeed. Loved ones would plead.

But still, I see… a Beautiful Cross!

The cross, the most beautiful message of Christianity

loyal hearts shown, through seal marked foreheads our humanity

palm leaves of ashes displayed

of the “Good News” story played

as we began to see… a Beautiful Cross!

The cross was warmly received until the creation of the gun.

Let’s cover our eyes to the dying Christ, when there on a cross, there is none.

He is not there, for he has risen indeed!

The Cross? No. Sadly, it was me.

A sinner’s heart redeemed, now you see…. a Beautiful Cross

The cross, was no match, for our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Everything he touches, changes, no matter how horrible the device.

He can change something so dark into light.

He gives us hope in all the trials we fight.

It was Him, not the world, who has shown us… the Beautiful Cross!

Because of the beauty of a sunset, the majesty of the ocean, the wonder of a new-born baby – God’s glorious creation is all around us. And we are part of that creation! Everything we can see, and everything we can’t see comes from God. But Pope Francis warns us in Laudato Si: Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth. The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now occur more frequently in different areas of the world.

Healing the planet is our Cross today; let us embrace it with LOVE!

by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a