2557 24th Sunday, Yr B
September 16, 2012
Once upon a time on the Golan Heights The nervous young constable sheepishly raised his cap and scurried awkwardly across the veranda and down the front path. With the door closed Julie and Matt fell into each other’s arms. The only couch they had ever owned rose to catch them while their quiet sobbing muffled the chiming clock in the hallway. Rudy, their faithful mutt, sensing the moment’s dread, made no move, no sound. Silence was everywhere. A wave of grief broke upon the house behind the roses on the corner. Their oldest, their firstborn, was dead. Marcel was gone. Days later, the silence stalked Julie and Matt to the church. The organ played, but they did not hear it. Nor did they hear the sound of the congregation singing. The priest led the prayers but it seemed that there was no God to hear him. In the moment’s blur, Julie caught herself staring at the protea on Marcel’s coffin. Then the choir raised its voice and the first words in days filled her ears: “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116). She squeezed Matt’s hand and he felt the life in her—even if he felt nothing himself. The line of mourners approached the microphone. “Marcel was the only man to win my heart”, cried his fiancée. “He was the healer of wounds on the team”, a mate murmured. And a Vinnies’ brother recalled, “Marcel never missed a night on the soup van. He was the one the struggling people asked for”. “His smile would break you open” said his fiancée‘s sister, “and while his jokes might make you blush, they would always make you laugh”. All these words burrowed into Matthew’s deafness until like gentle rain they fell upon his broken heart. This son, the fruit of his loins, the fruit of shared years - he felt he hardly knew him. Through Marcel’s too-short life so much goodness, so much originality, so much knowing and healing had burst upon the world. “Marcel, was ever my protector”, said his younger brother. “He was the first to know I was gay; he was always proud of me”. “I saw him intervene in a street fight”, sobbed a woman the family did not know. “Though it was risky on that bleak night he brought calm to troubled waters”. “I will always remember him”, promised a friend,”He remains my light”. Matthew at last began to squeeze Julie’s hand and caress her fingers. Who was this man, their son? Yet somehow they knew him in their hearts, knew him in their bones. Many years ago, on what is now known as the Golan Heights, in a small town called Caesarea Phillipi, Peter the Apostle proclaimed what he finally recognised. He said to Jesus, “You are the Christ”. He and his companions would not fully recognise Jesus till after he rose from the dead. And so it came to pass that, in the light of the resurrection, they recognised
Jesus in the poor and the ridiculed, the sick and the abandoned. His reign was strong within them, fruitful among them. And still he remains the Christ. At this time and forever! Edmond Nixon, C.Ss.R. © Redemptorists 2012
Antiphons for the Mass ENTRANCE ANTIPHON (or a hymn) Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you, that your prophets be found true. Hear the prayers of your servant, and of your people Israel.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM (Ps 114) Antiphon: I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living. RESPONSE: I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living. Lector: I love the Lord for he has heard the cry of my appeal; for he turned his ear to me in the day when I called him. R. Lector: They surrounded me, the snares of death, with the anguish of the tomb; they caught me, sorrow and distress. I called on the Lord’s name. O Lord my God, deliver me! R. Lector: How gracious is the Lord, and just; our God has compassion. The Lord protects the simple hearts; I was helpless so he saved me. R. Lector: He has kept my soul from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling. I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living. R. GOSPEL ACCLAMATION Alleluia, alleluia! My only glory is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, which crucifies the world to me and me to the world. Alleluia! COMMUNION ANTIPHON (1) or (2) (or a hymn) (1) How precious is your mercy, O God! The children of men seek shelter in the shadow of your wings. (2) The chalice of blessing that we bless is a communion in the Blood of Christ; and the bread that we break is a sharing in the Body of the Lord. Today’s Readings Isaiah 50:5-9; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35 Next Week (25th Sunday of Year B) Wisdom 2:12,17-20; Psalm 53; James 3:16-4:3; Mark 9:30-37