- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

February 26, 2019

Father Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

7th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Sirach 2:1-11; Mark 9:30-37

“You who fear the Lord, love him and your hearts will be enlightened” (Sir. 2:9). The teacher ben Sirach reminds us to love the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul with all our strength, and with all our mind (CF Lk. 10:27). If we remain steadfast in our devotion to the Lord, especially in times of trial, will we find the path to life. Our assurance of God’s grace will deepen because God is faithful to His covenant promises. By imitating Christ, “the radiance of the Father’s glory and the exact representation of His glory (CF. Heb. 1:3), we will pour ourselves out in showing loving kindness to all we meet along the way. Only by loving with the love of Christ can we hope to fulfill our calling and receive the reward that is ours as heirs of the kingdom. The life of faith is a life of trust in the Lord and of delight in his providential care.

We must never doubt that God delights in caring for us, His children. He made us to know love and serve Him all the days of our life. As we love Him, we will seek more ways to serve Him in the people He sends our way. The more we serve others, the more we will become what He made us to be. Knowing His love, we can fearlessly cast our burdens upon Him. The anchor of our soul is the Cross of Christ. On the Cross, Christ totally poured Himself out so that we might be filled with his blessings. He took to Himself our sinfulness so that we might lay claim to his holiness. In Christ, all things are made new. The old world has passed away, and all creation is brought under the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit. Those who are humble and self-denying will radiate the grandeur of Christ and find our resting place close to the heart of the Father.

Saint Mark recounted how Jesus foretold his death and resurrection to the disciples. This proclamation perplexed and frightened them. They did what we all do when confronted with bad news, they changed the topic. Their rationale was that if they ignored the whole idea of rejection and crucifixion, they could continue on their happy way. Jesus had no intention of founding a “feel good” church.  If they wanted to continue to be His disciples, would need a radical change in their attitude. Discipleship requires a willingness to serve and not to be served. Discipleship requires us to sacrifice all we have for the sake of the kingdom. Discipleship requires us to take up our cross and carry it. We need to surrender ourselves to God’s will and care for us and place all our worries and anxieties in his hands.