A Sunday Reflection

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B)

The Lord wants to prepare the disciples for his coming passion and death; but they are not ready to hear it. The evangelist tells us that they didn’t understand and were afraid to ask. Afraid because, sometimes, it’s preferable not to know. By not knowing, we avoid facing things, we don’t have to live with the fear of knowing. And yet, not knowing carries its own fears. We have all experienced them.

And so, to calm those fears, they change the conversation. While the Lord is talking about the passion, they are quarreling about who is the greatest. And the greatest, Jesus tells them and us, is “the last of all and the servant of all” (Mk 9:35).

The episode ends with Jesus calling a small child and placing him in their midst. Imagine the tenderness of Jesus embracing this child. Let us never be afraid to welcome the little ones, because in welcoming them we welcome the Lord. God bless you!

Fr. Luis R. Largaespada

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Spiritual Reading

READING REQUIRES DISCIPLINE. Spiritual reading, especially, is a discipline.

It differs from other reading because it’s study we take on, perhaps at the request of a spiritual director, to guide our growth in virtue, knowledge of doctrine, and union with God. It’s not reading for entertainment, really, or even for education. It should lead to prayer and is itself a form of prayer.
We need help finding works that suit us in our particular circumstances…. We want to make sure that our spiritual reading does not proceed according to our whims, interests, or idiosyncrasies of taste…. Thus, the best works for you and me will be those that are assigned to us by an experienced spiritual director.

Our reading should be regular. In fact, it should be daily. It should never be burdensome…. [We] should begin as our meals begin: with a prayer…. It’s not good to consume spiritual books in a gluttonous way…. We should take the words in slowly, for assimilation. We should read a little, pray, and give ourselves a chance to digest what we’ve taken in.

Our needs will vary according to our individual circumstances and to the seasons of our lives…. [Let us] all hear the call that St. Augustine heard so long ago: Tolle, lege! Tolle, lege! (Take up and read! Take up and read!) It’s a discipline that will help us advance in the spiritual life.

Scott Hahn, Signs of Life (New York: Doubleday, 2009) Pages 119, 120, 121. Used with permission.

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