Reflections 3rd September 2017

A Reflection for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mt: 16:21-27 ( )

In June of this year a group of young people met Pope Francis and were given the opportunity to question him. After a few had asked questions, a young boy told the Pope about his life: He had been abandoned at birth and was in an orphanage up to the age of five. He was then adopted by an Italian couple but a year later his adoptive mother died. His father and grandparents then cared for him but now his grandparents had died. The young boy wondered why God had sent him so much suffering. 

Truthfully Pope Francis replied that he didn’t have an answer to that question. He said he often asked the same question, especially when he visited sick children in hospital. 

The Pope then went on to say that God doesn’t answer his question either but, when he looks at Jesus on the Cross and remembers what Jesus the Son of God suffered, he knows there must be sense to it somewhere. ‘Remember’ he continued ‘there are questions and situations in life that cannot be explained yet the love of God is always there’.

Today’s gospel is a challenging one, asking up to take up our cross and follow Jesus.

Which one of us would go out looking for suffering? However, in life it comes our way. For some it comes in small ways but many are asked to bear very heavy burdens.

Though Jesus, on the night before he died, knew he was facing his passion even he prayed: ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me’ but then added ‘let your will be done, not mine’.

In today’s Mass the psalmist reminds us that –

            ‘For you (God) have been my help …

            Your right hand holds me fast.’

Ms Maureen Sheehy – Maureen is a lay woman and works part-time as a trainer and facilitator with local community groups.