September 26, 2021
Today’s reading from Mark’s gospel reminds us to expand our circle of healing and inspiration beyond our own communities. The disciples have been quite pleased with themselves for preserving the purity and practices of Jesus’ movement by silencing the healing done by an outsider from their group. They are surprised however when Jesus rebukes them for their narrow-mindedness and limited understanding of what his mission was truly about. Anyone who promotes life is on God’s side, regardless of their own ancestry. Where can we see God’s healing touch?
September 26, 2021
The reading we hear this week from Mark’s gospel is said to be one of those great moments where the disciples struggle to understand who Jesus is and what following him means. Such a human moment and a reminder to each of us that even those who walked with him on a daily basis didn’t get it right all the time.
Jesus begins by telling the disciples about his fate and how he will be betrayed, killed and rise again but, of course, the disciples have no idea what Jesus is going on about.
The next scene is quite comical. Jesus and the disciples are traveling and it seems that Jesus may have been out in front of the group, not necessarily engaging in their conversations but still attentive enough to hear what they are saying. When he asks them what they are arguing about.
The disciples are like children caught whispering about something in a classroom by the teacher. They fall silent. It is interesting that Mark never says that they actually told Jesus what they were arguing about. They must know in that moment that Jesus heard them arguing about who was the greatest. So, Jesus takes this moment to try and get the disciples to understand his vision of the Kingdom of God.
September 16, 2021
In the reading we hear today from Mark’s gospel, Jesus and the disciples are in the district around Caesarea Philippi, where Herod the Great had built a temple and renamed the town after the emperor. It is during this time that the disciples’ assumptions and hopes about what Jesus would accomplish begin to collapse around them. Jesus’ announcement about what would happen to him was the beginning of the end. Up to this point, Jesus seemed unstoppable as a healer, a teacher and a miracle worker. Things seemed to be looking up!
This is the pivotal chapter of the gospel, where there is a shift in the journey now heading toward Jerusalem. Jesus and the disciples are “on the way,” when Jesus asks them (and us, the readers) “Who do you say that I am?”