Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

(Genesis 11:1-9; Mark 8:34-9:1)

Today’s first reading is filled with irony.  It tells of how people congregate in a city to improve their lot.  Their working together, however, leads to downfall.  Inclined to evil, they arrogantly try to build a tower so tall that it will reach into the heavens.  They probably think that they then will be able to see God.  But they do not even come close to reaching their objective.  God has to come down to frustrate their efforts before they kill themselves.  The gospel today prescribes the only path to God.

Jesus tells his disciples that people have to carry their individual crosses after himself.  The crosses are made of suffering and emptiness.  They involve a letting go of self to serve others.  A woman gives up his career to attend to her dying mother.  A reporter returns to Syria after being captured and released to chronicle the lot of the people there.  These Christians cling to the hope that God will provide for them. Arriving where Jesus is, they will know God face-to-face.  But sometimes they wonder as day after day they find no relief.    

We achieve nothing by wondering if there is another way to God.  God is love which gives of itself for the other.  We thank God for saving us time and again from our folly.  Even more, we praise him for coming to us in Jesus.  Here he suffered horrendously for us.  As his cross led to glory, so following him, we will be saved saved.