24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Who do you say I am?
Look upon us, O God,
Creator and ruler of all things,
and, that we may feel the working of your mercy,
grant that we may serve you with all our heart.
The servant of today’s First Reading from the Prophet Isaiah, who suffers for the people, is promised God’s help. He may well have sung today’s Psalm, praising God for his salvation.
The Gospel presents Jesus as the suffering servant foretold by Isaiah, and Jesus speaks about his Passion and death for the first time here. St Mark places this scene at the centre of his Gospel. It is the turning point. He shows Jesus being met with confusion, misunderstanding and non-acceptance. The Christ (the ‘anointed one’) will not be the Messiah of popular expectation, but one who also embraces rejection.
Likewise, the true disciple is one who demonstrates his or her faith through good works (Second Reading). And of course, faith also calls for commitment, as we, too, try to follow the way of the cross.
Let us pray for the strength, this week, to embrace the ultimate ‘good work’ by doing out best to imitate Christ’s loving sacrifice in our own lives, even in small ways. We ask, too, for the assurance of God’s help, as we try to take up our own crosses day by day.