Weekly Preaching

Cultivating Peace Within

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sept. 19, 2021  

Mark 9:30-37

Sister Christa Cunningham, OP

Associate of Sinsinawa Anne Jacobson

“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” –– Hafiz of Shiraz

In the opening of today’s Gospel, Jesus shares some vital information about himself and his future that will have a significant impact on the lives of his closest friends and companions. That the disciples were confused and afraid with this news is understandable; their response is perhaps familiar, even predictable. At the end of the day’s journey, Jesus moves his friends past the armor of their false pretenses and unwinnable arguments to demonstrate the authentic source of their power––the astonishing light of their being––by embracing a child in their midst.

In the second reading, James reiterates Jesus’ message, writing that the kinds of petty arguments and power struggles we engage in––whether on a dusty road in first-century Palestine or in twenty-first century political discourse––occur because we have lost sight of who we truly are. 

You covet but do not possess…
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain…
You do not possess because you do not ask…
You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly…

It is perhaps easier to distract ourselves with superficial concerns than to ask the deeper questions; to cloak ourselves in arrogance or self-deprecation than to claim our unique and precious gifts; to wage war against ourselves or others than to cultivate the peace of authentic connection with God and one another. We are called to embrace and welcome the child in others, to delight in the astonishing light of each person’s being. Within that same call is an invitation to remember that when we ourselves are lonely or in darkness, too afraid or distracted to live from our created and creative core, our God stands ready to embrace the luminous child within us.

 by Dominican Associate of Sinsinawa Anne Jacobson