September 4, 2016
It was written to help those Jews who were facing opposition to their faith by the pagans surrounding them in Egypt.
They were questioning how God worked and why He was allowing the difficult things happening to them.
There have been times, in most of our lives, when we too questioned the way that God works.
We may question why God allows certain things to happen in our lives. The author of this Old Testament reading gives and indication as to what the reason might be. He tells them that just as it is difficult to understand some of the laws of nature, so also the things of a loving, merciful God were beyond their comprehension.
The Gospel reading can be a real challenge for each of us as we try to understand what is being asked of us. It is the opposite of how the world seems to think.
As great multitudes accompanied Jesus, He says many things that are difficult for them and for us.
To be able to accept the difficulties in our lives, that is the cross that the Lord presents to us, is a real struggle at times. We may even ask the question as to why God allows suffering, problems, and difficulties in our lives.
Again, as in the first reading, things will happen that we do not comprehend or understand, but we do see through Jesus Christ, that those moments are a part of our journey that leads to eternal life.
We may also find things in our lives that we are not willing to let go of.
When we hang on to these things so tightly, we often leave no room for the presence of Jesus Christ, as He calls us to follow Him, alone.
Paul sees the need for the slave, Onesimus, who has been with him and served him in his imprisonment, to return to his owner Philemon, and his need to reconcile. We are not told what the difficulty was between Philemon and Onesimus, but reconciliation was needed between these two Christians.
In our own lives, sometimes reconciliation is extremely difficult, because we feel that we are not the problem, but that the other person is, and to be called to reconciliation makes no sense at all. We may even think, "I am not giving my life for that person. They need to come to me first!"
The readings from this Sunday seem to all point out, that often times, God places before us, things that do not make sense in our mentality, but God knows well, that these are the things that leads us to eternal life. So again and again, in every difficult situation, Jesus invites us to eternal life and to pick up the cross and follow, which is the only way to eternal peace.
What is your response today
to His invitation?