OMELIE / Omelie EN
12 set 2021 12/09/2021 – 24th Sunday in O. T. - year B
12/09/2021 – 24th Sunday in O. T. - year B
Reading 1 IS 50,5-9 Psalm 114/115 Reading 2 JAS 2,14-18 Gospel MK 8,27-35
The words of the apostle James are always valid and necessary. The faith needs to find its concreteness, needs to become visible, otherwise it is a useless toy. What makes visible our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are the acts of charity. He calls them «works»: “I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works”. Whoever say they have faith, but they do not do anything to make it visible, instead of being full of faith they are deluded. Maybe this is the reason why Saint Paul says that faith is obedience. Whoever obey the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore start serving others, love their neighbours to the cost of denying themselves. Denying themselves is not difficult for whoever believe, because they see their Lord on the cross and they love Him while He is dying on the cross.
The gospel today is showing us really the true faith with the consequences and the fruits of a love able to give itself up. True faith in Jesus is not based on feelings or devotions, but on the knowledge of His person. “Who do people say that I am?” He asks His disciples. It is important to know which world we are living in, and we can know it only when we see how men are in front of Jesus, the Son of the living God. In fact, He is the sign of contradiction: those who welcome Him and love Him are on God's side, and you can trust them. Those who do not love Him and do not welcome Him live a life concentrated on themselves: this is a life that is not reliable. The answer given by the disciples is incredible. They know that the people say Jesus has risen from the dead, therefore He is a person already known, even if He has come back to life after death. The people must think that, if Jesus is Elijah come back to life, they, since they know already everything about Elijah, have nothing new to learn from Him, and above all they can continue carry on with their habits without changing anything. For the people Jesus is not news, He cannot tell them anything new, and so, if He is not completely useless, He almost is.
“But who do you say that I am?” Jesus continues. In order to answer this question is necessary to think carefully, examine ourselves, go back into ourselves. This is more difficult, so much so that only Peter answers, but not even him knows the meaning of what he is saying: “You are the Christ”. This sentence is the foundation of the faith and of the true faith, but only when it is understood in the correct way, according to God’s word. This sentence is truly understood when we know what are the consequences of saying it, what is the consequence of being disciples of whom is “the Christ”. Being the Christ means being the one the prophets say that “must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days”.
In the first reading Isaiah is telling us something about this mystery. Believing that Jesus is the Christ consequently means to “take up his cross” and follow Him, without fear of “losing his life”, of being rejected and isolated by the very people that have power. Peter says that he has not understood at all the meaning of his very answer: in fact, he rebukes Jesus for His words based on the Sacred Scriptures, he scolds Him. Peter’s dream is to be able to live comfortably, basking in human glory, satisfied regarding ambitions and his desire to be great. He really believes that Jesus is the Christ, but only based on those conditions. Those are the conditions of Satan, Jesus answers. Satan is the one looking for glory in men, while the Christ is looking for obedience to the Scriptures, the obedience of faith to God’s plans. God's plan is to save man through His Son’s cross.
I truly have faith, and my faith is not a toy, when I accept that Jesus saves the world through His cross, and so I offer myself to cooperate, to suffer with Him for the sin of the world. Therefore, James is pushing us firmly to show our faith with our works, with the works of obedience to the love of the Lord: paying attention to the needs of the poor, being ready to serve them, being ready to offer even sacrifices to make God's compassion come true. All the above is done by the disciple of Jesus for the love of his Lord, so everybody can get to know the true meaning of the fact that He is the Christ.