R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
Be sure to read the bio piece above about St. Francis de Sales, whom we remember today. A gentle person, with wise sensitivity to how God's graces work in our lives, Francis clearly understood and wrote beautifully about how holiness was part of the life of the laity in the Church, as well as for priests and religious. He was a great communicator and his outstanding use of the "media" of his day - the pamphlet - earns him the honor of being patron of the Catholic Press.
In today's selection from the drama we have been reading about in the First Book of Samuel, Saul's son, Jonathan, intercedes on David's behalf and convinces his father not to give in to his jealousy or the attention David is getting as his successor. Jonathan's affection for David, and his sense of justice, save David's life and allows the plan of God to move forward. Of course, the drama of the story won't end here. Conflict and division, greed and lust for power, deceit and death fill out the rest of the story.
I picture Jesus, in Mark's gospel, as having a simple message: I have come to share with you my surrender to the Father's way of saving the world. It won't be through working miracles (in my life time or now). He told his disciples that it would only be in losing ourselves that we can find ourselves. He did not want to be honored. He wanted to be a servant and inspire us to be servants, placing the needs of others first. It was in dying, trusting that the Father could/would redeem this terrible injustice, that he showed us how to understand his mission and how to follow him.
In this scene, where Jesus is withdrawing a bit, I feel a special closeness to him. He came to enter our world completely and be with us. It must have been a challenge for him to be so misunderstood by his disciples, to be so sought after by the poor, to be so rejected by the religious leaders, and have the demons proclaim that they alone seem to know who he is. In scenes like this, I can recognize that he must understand us when we are tired or stretched, misunderstood or rejected, frustrated or discouraged.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook