Speaking to Timothy, Paul reminded him of the hardships he had to endure for the sake of the Gospel, and that all who follow Jesus embrace the cross. It is part of our discipleship. There is no easier path. Look at the One we follow! But there is also the witness of others in Timothy’s life, his mother and grandmother in particular, and many others whose example of faithfulness gives encouragement for our endurance in the face of trial.
Know the scriptures! It is “useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” God reveals his wisdom and instruction for how we live our faith joyfully and with conviction. Jesus was well aware that the scribes who asked sometimes not-so-friendly questions also sometimes missed the lessons of scripture, the very scriptures they studied and prayed intently. So his own engaging in some verbal jousting was a subtle attempt to provoke, humor, and entertain his listeners.
One of the central themes of the gospel of Mark is the question of Jesus’ identity. And today’s passage may reflect the controversies that entangled the early church and the larger Jewish community before their official separation long after the resurrection. As the early church struggled with these questions, they were encouraged to hold fast to the example of lived faith set by others before them. We proclaim what we believe by our words and way of life as well. We need to do it with intentional awareness and deep conviction and profound joy. Sometimes you are the only bible some people will ever read.
This mass was offered for the repose of +Alice Christman.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020