Faith Proceeds Healing

06-27-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

As always on Sundays in Ordinary Time, the Old Testament reading illumines today’s gospel. In the longer form Jesus performs two healings; in the book of wisdom proclaims our God the God of life, who “fashioned all things that they might be have being” and formed human beings in “the image of his own nature,” to be “imperishable” (Wisdom 1:14; 2:23). people of faith therefore choose to live gods “undying justice (righteousness”) (1:15) in this mortal life, thus beginning, even now, the undying life for which we were created. To choose otherwise to choose the other side: the devil in death 2:25. Mark presents the two healings as a story within a story, a “story sandwich,” a literary device that reinforces his message for those who originally would’ve heard not read the story. Mark wants to emphasize any central truth of his gospel: that Jesus does not perform miracles to compel faith, but rather that faith proceeds healing.


Who is This?

06-20-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

So we reenter ordinary time already knowing that Jesus is the son of God (see the centurion‘s words at the end of the Palm Sunday passion reading from Mark‘s gospel), the long succession of Sunday’s confronts us again with the question that each Christian community, each individual Christian faces continually throughout life: “who is this?“ (Mark 4:41), and prompts and “examination of conscience“ regarding the practical consequences of our response. this year‘s Gospel readings from Mark suggest that we find our answer in the cross and in the Eucharist. Today’s stark challenge to Jesus’ call to discipleship is thankfully balanced by the comfort we can take in relating – perhaps only too well – to the disciples’ fears. Thou we welcome Jesus in word and Eucharist Sunday after Sunday, don’t we all, from time to time during our lives’ “ordinary time,“ experience Jesus‘s “real absence”?


The Church and God's Kingdom

06-13-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Today’s scriptures connect the towering cedars of Lebanon from the prophet Ezekiel to the mustard plant of the famous parable of Jesus. Both plants represent the kingdom of God. Both are also to be understood as symbols of the church, where "birds of every kind shall dwell" (Ez 17:23) and shelter in the cedar's branches, and the shade of the mustard plant's large branches provide dwelling for the birds of the sky. Even today’s psalm tells of the just one who is like a cedar flourishing in the house of the Lord.


Jesus' Sacrifice and Ours

06-06-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

In presenting the still-familiar four-fold "Shape of the Eucharist" — Jesus takes / blesses / breaks / gives (Mark 14:22) — Mark omits Matthew's specification of purpose "for the forgiveness of sins," and Luke's "for the remembrance of me." But Jesus does recall the covenant, Israel's liberation from Egypt's slavery. And could the disciples - or we - fail to recall that, in Mark's earliest verses, "Jesus sits at table with tax collectors and those known as sinners" (2:15)? Mark also emphasizes the Eucharist as our participation in Jesus' passion and pledge of our share in his future glory.