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September 17th, 2006 A.D. - 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mk 8/27-35
Catholic Homilies
September 17th, 2006 A.D.

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mk 8/27-35


  Jesus is still on the run, so to speak, on the fringes of Palestine. As Mark’s story builds towards the final act in Jerusalem, he depicts Jesus warning that there will be no escapes from a tragic end. Obviously this warning was selected from the tradition to warn Mark’s audience that tragedy is part of the human condition and that faith in Jesus required that one face it with courage and honesty. We can do so because, as Isaiah tells us, God will hold our hand, as we walk finally into the valley of death. Jesus, who knows what death is like, will walk with us.

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  Once upon a time there was a very bright young man who was the greatest speller in his school. He won all the spelling bees even when he was in sixth grade. Then he went into the bees with other schools, and finally in the whole city. He kept on winning, easily. He was really good. Alas he knew he was good and bragged about it to everyone who would listen. His classmates were proud of him, but they didn’t like his boasting. He’s really good said one of his friend. But I wish he’d lose because he used to be a nice boy and now he’s a pill. Shut up all the others said quickly, though they had been thinking the same thing. Well, finally came the big state championship. If he won that he would go on to the nationals – and probably to the Olympics only they don’t have spelling bees do they? So he went to the match with the teacher who had helped him all through the year. At the very end, only the boy and a very nasty and ill tempered girl remained. He was asked to spell prestidigitation. He said the word and then confidently began to spell. Then you know what? He blanked out. Completely. He had no idea how to spell the word. So he missed the third “i”. The nasty little girl, who was also much too pretty,  got it right of course. Our hero was very mad. He blamed his teacher and wouldn’t talk to his classmates. He even blamed God. It wasn’t fair, he kept saying over and over and over. I deserved to win. After awhile he got over it.

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He even blamed God. It wasn’t fair, he kept saying over and over and over. I deserved to win. After awhile he got over it
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