25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
James 3:16-4:3
Mark 9:30-37
September 20, 2015

In our first reading from the Book of Wisdom, we hear how the people are upset with the just one, calling him obnoxious.  Why are they upset with him?  Simply because he is against their doings, reproaches their transgressions for not following what they have been taught.

Did you notice that they never deny what he has said about their transgressions?  They do not claim to be innocent.  I would almost take what they say to be an admission of guilt.  Otherwise why would they care what he says.

So they make plans to get rid of him under the guise of a test.  They say if he is right then God would rescue him.  I wonder if they would have changed if God had rescued him in the way they were talking about.  They were motivated by their own selfish ambitions, seeking to have things their way.  I wonder if they just don’t get what God has been teaching for centuries or if they don’t care.

Do we care what God has to say?  Our presence here would suggest we do. So then the question becomes do we know what God has taught us and do we know why?

Let’s look at it in the context of today’s gospel.  Jesus tells them for the second time about his coming passion.  They heard the words for themselves and so they knew what Jesus said but it says they did not understand.

They didn’t understand because it didn’t make sense to them.  How could the Christ be killed?  What does “rising” mean?  It also says they were afraid to question him.  Why?

Remember what happened when Jesus told them the first time about his passion?  Peter got rebuked.  So now they are afraid to ask out of fear for receiving the same response.

When we don’t understand, we can ask questions.  Peter didn’t get rebuked for asking questions.  Peter got rebuked because he told Jesus he was wrong, that Peter would never allow such a thing to happen.

We are supposed to ask questions, to seek understanding.  It’s an important part of how we grow in faith.  We need to ask questions about how our faith applies in the situations we encounter in our lives.  We need to always seek to learn more.  That’s why I preach.  That’s why I offer my talks occasionally.  That’s why we offer the CD’s in back.  That’s why Pat Meyer is doing a series on the Fifth Commandment, Thou shall not kill, starting next week.

Learning is important.  It’s that time of year when we resume our faith formation programs but it’s not just for children.  We all need to learn.  In the United States, today is Catechetical Sunday, to show we recognize the importance of our faith formation activities.

The theme this year is “Safeguarding the Dignity of Every Human Life.”  Pat’s series will be a big step in this.  We might know that the Catholic values life from the womb to death but do we know why?

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