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Twelfth Sunday – Ordinary Time Cycle C

Reflecting on Luke 9:18-24

Kathleen, you wouldn’t care so much what people think of you if you knew how seldom they do. That was my Irish father talking, telling his self-absorbed adolescent daughter one of the hardest facts of life: people aren’t really paying any attention to you. Oh.  Good to know.

But it turns out that Jesus cares what other people think of him too, and asks out loud, who do the crowds say I am? Is he John the Baptist, somehow come back from the dead? Or maybe Elijah, who went to the heavens in a chariot of fire and hasn’t been seen since?  Their answers reveal the kind of Mediterranean chatter and interest in the outsider that now seems to belong only in the past.

But Jesus (the Christ) wants us to think about him, to pay attention to him, to have an opinion about him, to gossip with our friends about him.  He knows that the more attention we pay to someone the more space in our lives that person will take.

Let’s revive the lost art of spiritual chatter.  Let’s gossip with the whole Church about this Jesus, and who we say he is.  Let’s breathe on the smoldering wicks of the Scriptures and see if we can start some fires.  One billion Christians heard this Gospel today.  What’s the buzz?

Let’s get talking, Church.  Because, as five-year-old Elliott said to God, I think of you sometimes even when I’m not praying.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

Who do you say he is?

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.

I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Ordinary Time - Cycle C

8 Comments to “Twelfth Sunday – Ordinary Time Cycle C”

  1. He is the best role model for life! In trying to be “other-absorbed,” the Gospels provide the best manual for living a counter-cultural life. Our society is so self-absorbed that we are quickly losing our way. A culture in which individuals look inward for their own good rather than looking outward for the good of the entire people will self-destruct in a short period of time. We lose our moral compass, and we are done. Only following Jesus’ way will keep us from ruining ourselves. The last verse of the Gospel reading today says it all:

    “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

  2. Love your suggestion to get talking about the scriptures, Jesus, spiritual things. My kids, like most I’m sure, ask so many questions about faith. They think about these things more often than I would have ever imagined children would. Some questions are deep and require a lot of reflection on my part and some are funny – but all of them good. I suppose this faith isn’t easy – not always easy to understand, not easy to live, not easy to talk about…but I’ve got to give it so much more effort than I do.

    Thank you “The Story and You” for helping me on the way!

  3. Time and time again, when I gaze upon a Crucifix, I think — “But, who do you say that I am?” I see you God, in the person of Jesus, and how much You love me. Although I see the nails in your hands and feet, they are actually my sins and the sins of the whole world which hold You to the cross. Each thorn in the crown of thorns represents a sin. Yet, You asked the Father to forgive all of us. As the Host is raised during the consecration at Mass, these words come to my mind, “But, who do you say that I am?” and I utter to myself, “My Lord and my God!”
    A Prayer — My Jesus, Son of the Every-Living God, You are our refuge and our rock of courage. Never let us be afraid or hesitate to proclaim who You are. Let us see You in the poor, the hungry and the lonely. And, give us the strength to continue to be Your hands, and Your feet. Let us love as You love, forgive as You forgive, and offer help to all in need. We dedicate every breath in adoration to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen

  4. Jesus is with us in our sorrows and in the deepest, darkest pits, and in the oil spills, the summer solstice, and both the fears and hopes that we cannot even name. Today let us rejoice in the spirit of the Lord. And yes, let us chatter, gossip, and pay attention to the living Christ.

  5. Lately my prayer has been, “reveal yourself to me.” Reveal yourself to me in the everyday moments of joy and frustration. Reveal yourself in my struggle to find employment. Reveal yourself in my community of faith, in the breaking of bread. As you reveal yourself, I will know you more deeply.
    Today I looked through an office window upon a still pond which beautifully reflected stately green leafed trees. It was one of those “reveal yourself to me” moments. Looking at the pond, I could see an image of what is. I knew that if the sun weren’t shining just so, and if the pond weren’t so quiet, there would be no picture on which to gaze. i wanted to linger but had only a few minutes so I carried the image home with me.
    In my own stillness and pondering, I know that sometimes I have to create the conditions for Jesus to show me who he is. I have to be willing to hang out with him, to be listen to what he says and gaze with new eyes at what he does. This way I can discover something new about him and about the God to whom he leads me. When he asks me who he is today, I can say, “You are the God who speaks to me in lingering stillness, in trees that reach toward the heavens and in the depths of my soul.” –Bobbie Bonk

  6. Great reflection. Great reminder that we need to communicate. I’m reminded of St. Francis of Assisi.

    “Preach the gospel always, If necessary use words.”

  7. When I got married all those years ago, my Aunt Donna gave me a pair of wall plaques she had purchased in Mexico on one of her many visits, they are clay, painted, of Mary and Jesus. I had taken them down to clean them, my granddaughter, Marisabel saw them on my dresser and she asked, why is His head bleeding? I told her it was Jesus and that He had died. She asked why, I told her because he died for all of us because He loves us so very, very much. She asked if I think of Him, and I said yes, she asked does he think of me too? Absolutely I told her, He thinks of each and every one of us because He loves us so much, she was happy with my answers…

  8. Crowds all over the world are certainly saying lots of things about who Jesus is. And depending on the crowd you’re hanging out with will determine what you will hear concerning who Jesus is. I used to say that Jesus was this and that much more than I do now. I had more opinions about Jesus earlier in life. Now, it the fellowship and journey of discovering and experiencing Jesus in all things, in all persons and in all situations that leaves me speachless. It’s the discovery and fellowship of being in Jesus and the miracle of life that continually manifests the Love of God that captures my attention beyond words.

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