For the message about the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18). ⧾

The Gospel reading records the beginning of Our Lord’s public ministry; the call of the first Apostles, the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom, and His ministry of healing. The Church through the ages continues this proclamation and ministry by preaching Christ Crucified.  But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23-24). As we reflect on and contemplate Our Lord’s work of salvation, we see also that prayer is not absent from this mission; for the Gospels tell us that Our Lord often withdrew to a solitary place to pray (Cf. Mk. 1:35). To know the wisdom of Christ Crucified it is necessary to pray. We may summarize His mission and ours as one of work, prayer and sacrifice; for sacrifice was the chief act of Our Lord’s earthly life.

As we noted in our meditation last Sunday, this mission engages all of us actively through the works of mercy and service and passively or mysteriously as we share in the mission of the Son of God, the Lamb of God through the union of our own suffering with His. When we come to understand this truth we see how every prayer, every sacrifice, every act of penance, every act of charity is at the service of the saving Mystery of Christ and nothing is without value or meaning. This is the power and the wisdom of God, of Christ Crucified.

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