The second reading today beautifully describes us as “God’s possession,” which is such a lovely thought, especially for those of us who are almost pathologically self-reliant. A possession cannot care for itself; its entire existence relies on its possessor.
Witnessing, is not always as easy as sharing what Jesus has done for us or our reason to believe. There can be a great difficulty for us to be an evangelizing disciple to our friends, family, or neighbors — possibly the very people we most wish to know the goodness of our God.
St. Mark invites us to join the disciples in asking, “Who is this?” For Mark, Jesus is the embodiment of the saving work of God. Each of the miracle stories is an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of Jesus as the one who brings God’s power and providence to human needs.
The Church offers us this Solemnity of the source and summit of our faith. It is a treasure far beyond human understanding. And yet it is a reality of Christian faith both intimately personal, and communally binding, not confined to the laws of space and time yet operates there.
Worship is a relationship, not a transaction. When Jesus instructed his followers to make disciples of all nations, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you,” he knew that sometimes they would have to rely on the muscle memory of worship.
On Pentecost, we celebrate the birthday of the Church, that glorious moment the Holy Spirit “appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.” In the Holy Spirit, God dwells not just among us but within us.
The day-to-day challenges of life find us struggling with our incompleteness. Our unenlightened and dimly lit eyes fail to see the beauty of what is yet to be. Imagine how differently we would feel and how creative we would become if we gave more attention to who we are becoming!
Like Benedict’s monks and the Apostles, each of us is called to do our part in realizing this mission, but we are also called to reach across the boundaries — whatever form they might take — and invite others to join us in living out this mission.
Jesus connects us not only to himself but to one another. Just as the branch is vitally connected to the vine, so the believer is vitally connected to Jesus. And just as, apart from the vine, the branch shrivels up and dies, so those who are not connected to Jesus have no life within them.
Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down on my own.” Jesus’ intrinsic freedom is the shining quality here. He was not “compelled” or “obligated” or “coerced” into the path that led to Calvary: he chose it.