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28th Sunday in Ordinary Time 11.10.2015


I listened recently to a meditation/reflection on Christ crucified. (as an aside, if you have not already done so, listen to Archbishop Coleridge’s latest presentation on Living Biblically in a Secular World – it will bring alive the impact of the crucifixion in a new way). The painting being used by the speaker was a very graphic representation of Jesus dead on the cross. This was different to the usual depiction where the Lord hangs there as if asleep with neat holes in hands, feet and side. This painting portrayed very well a man who had breathed his last, his mouth open as death claimed him. His whole body displayed the marks of scourging with whips and his head disfigured with a crown of thorns.

This death is acclaimed by the Lord’s disciples in all ages as a victory but how? Jesus on the cross possessed none of the realities we desire to have for fulfilment and success. These realities are four: power, pleasure, wealth and honour. We think if we have even one of these we shall be happy but it isn’t true. The reason I say this is that Jesus on the cross had none of them and he is success and fulfilment par excellence. Nailed to the cross he was powerless. Definitely he did not experience pleasure. Stripped bared he had no wealth. Mocked and ridiculed by the onlookers he had no honour. How was this success, victory?

The one thing he possessed when all else was gone was the knowledge he did his Father’s will. When we think seriously about it that is all that matters. The big four we think are essential are only for this life here and now. We shall leave all of them behind. The only ultimately transportable reality is ensuring our will and God’s will are synchronised. That is happiness, success and victory.

The man who asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life was told to keep the commandments with Jesus listing a sample. The man had kept all those his whole life long. Jesus lovingly scrutinises him and sees that his life is dominated by his wealth so, targeting that, tells him to assist the poor and come and follow him. The man walks away sad because he cannot imagine himself without his wealth. He cannot see who depriving himself of something will bring him what he wants. Yet that is exactly the road to follow for him and for us.

Jesus may target something else in us but while we cling to what we think is important and essential for success and fulfilment and not have God in the picture we shall never reach our goal.

Fr Adrian Farrelly.

Date Posted Title Listen Download
Oct 12, 2015 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time 11.10.2015 Listen Download