Reflection for the Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

There are a number of references in the Scriptures concerning wisdom. Wisdom is described by Saint James today as being pure – we could even say that wisdom is innocent. If wisdom is pure, peaceable, and gentle as well as full of mercy and good fruits as mentioned in the letter from Saint James, then being servants of God is part of the wisdom of God. To possess wisdom is to have insight or deep knowledge of the ways of God which lead us to choose what is right and reject what is wrong. Saint James tells us today that where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, disorder exists in society. Part of learning, from the time we are children, is to develop and to learn right from wrong. To nurture a Catholic sense of values among the people of our faith community is a responsibility all of us must take seriously.
In today’s first reading, we see how the wicked ones show no wisdom at all. Many biblical scholars believe this reading is part of the prophecy concerning the passion and death of Jesus Christ. This passage sounds like it is describing the chief priests of the Temple who were trying to justify sending Christ to his death in order to preserve Jewish society as they knew it.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that he will be killed and three days later he will rise from the dead. Although Jesus wants to prepare his disciples for his death and resurrection, he also wants to teach them the meaning of servanthood. If they wish to be first in the kingdom, they must be willing to put themselves last and serve the needs of others before their own. To emphasize his point, Jesus take a child from among the crowd as a example of the lowly – those without power or status – whom they were to serve. To serve the poor is to serve the Father. Many times Jesus told his disciples that they would not always be rewarded for their service during their earthly lives. Just as Jesus had to suffer and die, so they would have to suffer and die for the faith as well.
Let us pray that, as we profess our faith, we will be grateful for the gift of wisdom we have been given. We believe that Christ not only died and rose for us, but that he continues to live in the Eucharist we ar about to receive. May our sharing in the Eucharist deepen our insight into the ways of God as we strive to be his sons and daughters.
May God bless you all,
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ!