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25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

September 19, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Journey into Galilee

One of the images that Mark uses to portray Jesus and his disciples in their ministry is a journey. The disciples are a group that is always on the move, always heading to the next destination. It is the travelogue of a people with a purpose and a destination.

Today’s reading (Mk 9:30-37) sends Jesus and his friends on the road again, heading away from the experience of the transfigured Christ. They are heading towards Capernaum in Galilee. So after a journey of public teaching and healing in the north, Jesus begins to travel towards the south. As they travel, Jesus gives his followers another portion of his teaching on the suffering that is to follow. He is telling them that the Son of God is to be handed over, killed, die and rise after three days.

Once again, the disciples miss the message. The message is too different from what they were expecting or hoping for. How could this ministry end in suffering and death? Is this really what they are investing their life in? The whole scenario makes no sense at all. They are confused.

In their confusion, they start trying to make sense of these teachings among themselves. After the response that Peter got from Jesus, no one wants to ask any questions. Maybe they do not know what questions to ask. Maybe they do not ask any questions because they really do not want to hear the answer. This mission is too much for them. They discuss and argue among themselves as they walk When they arrive at their destination, Jesus asks the disciples what they were talking about on the way. They all remain silent, presumably out of embarrassment. They do not respond because once again they missed the main point of Jesus’ teaching and ministry.

How often do I hesitate to be totally open with God in my life?

When do I try to hide my thoughts and feelings from Jesus as though he does not know them already?

Photo by Charles Cerisier on Unsplash

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Catherine Martinez, OSB, has been a Benedictine Sister at St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK, since 1985. She is currently the Treasurer/Business Manager of her monastic community. She is a member of the planning committee for the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Federation of St. Scholastica.

Sister Catherine's reflections begin September 5 and continue through November 21.