Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Peter 1:2-7; Mark 12:1-12)
Images of flowers adorn the catacombs as a symbol of the paradisiacal state of the saints. Today many American Christians will bring flowers to the graves of their loved ones unconsciously honoring the ancient custom. The first reading from the Second Letter of Peter suggests that God is the source of this practice.
The letter states that God’s “power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion…” God wants us to remember our dead not with mournful regret but with hopeful longing. Through Jesus’ resurrection we have the promise of overcoming the separation that death causes. With good reason we hope that we will be reunited with our loved ones in Paradise.
The reading also provides us a course of action. We are not only to believe in Christ but also to live like him. Most of all we are to let our lives be controlled by love. That is, we are to bear with one another’s faults with joyful affection.