Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 21, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Is 53:10-11 / Ps 33 / Heb 4:14-16 / Mk 10:35-45
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
There is a house on one of the islands of the Pacific, which for many years has been a refuge for mothers who have lost a child. The woman who lives in that modest dwelling is the reason why they go there. She always offers a shoulder to lean on and assurance that someone understands what they are going through, for she herself lost a child when she was already advanced in years and not able to have another baby. Towards the end of the bereaved mother’s visit the woman would tell them to go to the Church and talk to the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. She reminds them that He is the only one who can completely sympathize with them and who has the power to give them the strength to move on and have a fresh start.
I am blessed to know this woman personally because she is my mother. Although she is not a Bible scholar, her faith tells her what the letter to the Hebrews explains in today’s second reading about Jesus, our High Priest. He can sympathize with our weakness, because He has been similarly tested in every way.
This past week during our priest convocation, we were told a story of a group of American tourists who visited a nursery in Romania. One thing they noticed was that the infants and toddlers didn’t cry. The children must have learned early that crying didn’t do them any good. Even if they cried the whole day no one would be there for them. They just bear whatever discomfort or even pain they have because they have accepted the fact that this is life.
As we all gather here together in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – which is the highest form of prayer – God’s words in the letter to the Hebrews remind us that our Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest, totally understands what is going on in our lives with all our difficulties, loss, disappointments, pains, or any other kind of tribulation. He sympathizes with us and is always ready to give us comfort and strength.
In chapter 11 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Every time we pray in the church or at home or wherever we may be, we should always keep in mind that we are talking to a God who understands what we are going through and that His love and grace will see us through.