Gospel Reflections

12th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 9:18-24

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Juana Jaqueline Castillo Salvador

Published: June 19, 2016

Read Luke 9:18-24

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They... Read More…

In this Gospel, Jesus invites and helps his friends to experience a process of identification and recognition of him who is called Master. The process is interesting since he starts from what “others” say and then he puts the question directly to those who have the opportunity to be closest to him. Others can recognize special features in Jesus. For this reason, they compare him to some of the prophets. But only those who are closest to him are able to discover the nature of the Master and his true identity.

Each one of us becomes known by means of our actions, our thoughts and our words. People make judgements based on what they see, hear and observe, but their judgments may not always be accurate. Thus, those who know Jesus, those who see, hear, and share an experience with him, consider him to be someone extraordinary. However, only those who share intimately and profoundly with him are able to discover that he is the Messiah of God. It is only in this authentic recognition that Jesus asks them to keep silence, and not reveal him to others because he has a mission to complete and a road to travel.

Even though it may seem difficult to explain, all were awaiting the coming of the Messiah, but few seemed to be waiting for the Servant Messiah announced by Isaiah. It is this Messiah who does not fit with our understanding which results in his asking silence of his intimate friends so as to be able to continue on the way that he must follow. What challenging evidence Jesus reveals to us! Having the recognition of "others" can be a hindrance to our mission. The task remains difficult when we instinctively seek our own good, comfort, benefit and recognition.

But the Lord speaks to us of suffering and rejection, death and resurrection, acceptance and trust, losing so that we may gain . . . How can this be so for someone who has just recently recognized that Jesus is the Messiah of God? This is what Jesus proposes to those who have discovered his true nature: he is the Messiah of God . . . Jesus affirms for us that the cross continues to be a sign for the journey. We cannot lose sight of this because without the cross, we cannot follow Him.  

What memories of crosses come to mind for you?  Where did these experiences lead you?

Saint Julie Billiart showed us the reality of the cross throughout her lifetime, a cross that does not end in death but rather in a resurrected and transformed life. The following is the exact wording of one of her sayings: “Praised be Jesus and his Holy Cross.  Let us love it; let us carry it.  May this be our happiness now and in eternity.”

Let us continue courageously along this path again and again, proclaiming Jesus, the Messiah of God.  Let us ask for his grace to renounce ourselves, take up our own cross and follow him along the way.  May he increase in importance for us even as we ourselves diminish!

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