Gospel Reflections

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Nancy Rowen

Published: September 02, 2018

Zooming IN and OUT with the camera offers the viewer both amazing clarity and the broader perspective. Such is the art of Mark’s Gospel. He focused on one person, Jesus Christ… who he is, how he relates with people, the works he does and his message of a VISION of God’s dream for the healing of the world. With his whole being, Jesus prays that people will come to know God, and love God and be like him in every time and place in this world.

Through the wide lens of God’s plan and purpose, we identify him and our own origins in the Heart of God. Keep one eye on the big picture, always remembering our God’s great-hearted kindness and never-tiring mercy to the people, God’s strong and powerful action in times of difficulty, God’s gentle care and guidance all along the journey. This is the One who never abandons us, whom we can trust with our lives, whose Spirit is within us, who is at work among us in everyone, everywhere, in our lives, and in other’s in our times, whose visible Image is the Christ portrayed in the Gospels.

He is the closeness of God others have said. We knew him; we saw him and listened to him. We love him. “Be my friend. Know my joy. Love like me”, the disciples heard him say to them.

Francis of Assisi’s advice is to Consider Christ. Contemplate him. Desire to be like him. …… our friend, brother, his identity, teachings, behavior, attitudes…. and you shall come to see more as God does.

Today, Chapter 7, Jesus begins to instruct his disciples, help them look at reality. We choose what is good. The familiar and comfortable way of doing things, “the traditional way” seems best.  Here, our Teacher Jesus begins to guide us toward discern more carefully, holding up God’s dream - a design where everyone belongs; where all are cared for and live together in peace.  Who can live this way? It is our deepest longing for ourselves. If we are honest, that challenges all of us. In God’s great goodness, we humans are blessed with many companions, the love of family, good friends and teachers who inspire, encouraged and support our efforts.

All the while, continues a growing clarity of the mystery of God’s plan for reformation and transformation of human community into a Beloved Community, where we recognize all as family, each cherished and respected, giving ourselves generously to others.

Zooming BOTH in AND out is a helpful way for paying attention to the upcoming Sunday Gospels. May our perception be greatly enhanced.


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