Sunday readings reflection: The true Christian life

Readings for September 12,  2021

Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm 116:1-6, 8-9
James 2:14-18
Mark 8:27-35

www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

I have heard the false promises of a worldly peace. And being honest I have even, at times, believed them. They go something like this: If I achieve a certain level of holiness, I will be at peace (in a kumbaya kind of way). Which isn’t really to say that I won’t or can’t achieve peace with an increased faith, but rather to say that peace goes beyond any worldly understanding that I might have. 

In the true Christian life, peace comes when I recognize the joy of being persecuted for Christ. Jesus himself painted the picture of the true Christian life as: rejection, ridicule, humiliation and, in the end, death. Current trends indicate, and have for a long time, that 100% of people born will die. And while the statistics aren’t quite as clear, it seems the same 100% of people will, at some point, suffer. If I think that being a faithful Christian is otherwise so, Jesus tells me I am not thinking as God does, but as a man.

I won’t pretend to know how to think like God, but I do know that all signs seem to indicate that it requires rooting yourself in love. This is shown in the entirety of the Passion of Jesus. After his arrest, all that was prophesied in Isaiah 50:4-9 was made manifest in Jesus. The final, most significant act of love known to man was and is the Cross. There are no shortcuts. My salvation, my peace, is rooted in the Passion and death of Christ. The redemption of the Resurrection would not be possible without Christ’s suffering. Knowing this, believing this, accepting this, is my hope and my only peace. Then, and only then, can I live as we believe, that “the Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced.”

My Lord Jesus, I am redeemed by your love, made perfect in your sacrifice on the Cross. May my own suffering come to me with the knowledge of your suffering as my own path to glory and to peace. Thanks be to God! Amen

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