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13th September 2015 – 24th Sunday of the Year B

posted 12 Sep 2015, 09:22 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle   [ updated 6 Nov 2015, 00:44 by StJohns Annitsford ]
H.B. & Hw.
No quick fix! That is not what is on offer. No magic!  That is certainly not on offer- No jump-

leads-healing. Only profound hope. Jesus offers us profound hope, absolute certainty.

Snares of death", “anguish of the tomb", "sorrow and distress", "stumbling" and "tears", pain and suffering we all experience. And Jesus offers us profound hope, which in the Christian book is certainty.

Not ours then to seek and want explanations of human tragedy. The question, "Why does a loving God allow all this suffering to happen?" verges on blasphemy. The loving God suffers all we suffer, only more so. And in Jesus the loving God offers us profound hope.

But the one thing we do not run away from is suffering. The one thing we do not deny is suffering. Jesus does not run away from crippling individual sickness. Nor do we. Jesus does not avoid the multitudes starving with hunger. Nor do we. With him we live in the real world, our world as it is, with its deep mystery of pain and suffering.

And we do not ask, 'What did I do to deserve this?" Even if I can say, "I've always tried to live a good life." We really do need to eradicate this petulant attitude. We do not even say, "I am being punished by God for this or that misdemeanour, sin or mistake." What kind of God do we make our God out to be by such attitude and thinking? A monster surely, which is blasphemy.

Nor do we actively seek suffering. As if it were a virtue. Jesus does- not. Nor do we. But what we must say is, that Jesus understands suffering and death as the inevitable consequence of his life and ministry. Seek to release God's power in the world, seek to love like Jesus and we pay the price.

We get hurt. 

And we can still join the Lord in his Gethsemane prayer, "Take this chalice from me". But we must pray the whole prayer, "not my will but thine!"- This is the prayer that removes the barreness. This is the prayer prayed in profound hope that takes away the apparent futility. This is the prayer that takes us through the triple ordeal of mind and body and spirit; the threefold failure to resurrection, new life and joy.

'The one who grants me saving justice is near."

Nearer to me than I am to myself. And no situation, no matter how bleak, is hopeless. The heart of our faith is precisely that death gives way to life. We acknowledge the darkness but look forward towards the light.

Even this hope can, very often does, seem far, far away. But then we remember that Jesus offers no quick fix; only deep down, profound certainty that all will be well. Through him, with him and in him all will be well.