Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (20th September)
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 20th
For your Newsletter
Next Staruday and Sunday the whole Church in Ireland is invited to gather in one place to explore and deepen its hope in Christ. For details see the flyers and posters, and make the journey!
“In Christ alone my hope is found, he is my light, my strength, my song”. And so begins the hymn “In Christ Alone” composed by Keith and Kristyn Getty, a married couple from Northern Ireland. The hymn continues, expanding on the reason for this expression of hope, namely that Jesus became man, “the fullness of God in helpless babe”, was “scorned by the ones he came to save, till on the cross Jesus died”, and “There in the ground his body lay, light of the world by darkness slain” … “Then bursting forth in glorious day up from the grave he rose again”.
At the heart of the Eucharistic Prayer, just after the consecration the Priest and the congregation join together in proclaiming this same mystery of faith, which expresses the reality that Christ has Died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again.
It is the hallmark of Christianity, it is the core belief which separates Christians from all others, as St. Paul’s say’s in the first letter to the Corinthians (15:17) “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain”, however he goes on in verse 20 “but now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep”.
In our Gospel today (Mk 9: 30 -37) we see Jesus attempting to introduce the idea of his death and resurrection to his disciples for the first time, but they didn’t understand. How could they, nobody had risen from the dead before, surely this was nonsense, Jesus was surely losing his mind.
It was only after the Resurrection, when Jesus appeared to them, that his teaching, his passion, his death and resurrection began to make sense. Can you imagine the joy they experienced when the saw him again, fully alive, transformed by the Holy Spirit, fully human but alive forever, never to die again.
And then think of the hope and joy they must have experienced when the words of his promise, spoken to them at the last supper, slowly dawned on them. From the Gospel of John (14:1-3) “Do not let your hearts be troubled … in my Father’s house there are many dwelling places … I am going to prepare a place for you … I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may also be”.
This promise is for you and me, CHRIST IS RISEN and everything has changed, even death has lost its hold. He remains with us in the Eucharist to sustain us on our journey towards heaven, where all tears will be wiped away and the hope we have in our hearts will be changed into the reality we have longed for: eternal life, joy, peace and love forever in the presence of God, Father, Son and Spirit and the communion of saints.
The concluding verse of the hymn “In Christ Alone” echoes this glorious hope “from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from his hand, till he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.” Amen.
Prayer of the Faithful
For all of us gathered here: Lord let the reality of your resurrection change the way we live so that we may become witnesses to the world of the hope we have in you alone, our light, our strength, our song.
Lord hear us.
Contributor: Deacon Frank McGuinness, Diocese of Elphin