Skip to main content

Counter Cultural

      Every year there is at least one event that happens that defines the year. It could be a star the had rocked the world with a number one single, a video on youtube that shaped peoples point of view or a large and traumatizing event that affected a country and  possibly the whole world. Either way, each year is defined by a year-turning moment that reshaped how people looked at the world. 

      Todays Gospel brings us into the start of the cultural renewal that Jesus brought. Mark places Jesus' first miracle as an exorcism that takes place immediately after calling his first disciples. Exorcisms in Marks Gospel are very important events for the development of Jesus and defining him. The one given today, begins with Jesus' teaching in the synagogue. The people who listened to him teach were astonished at the way he taught, it is different than the teachings of the scribes. Jesus' authority comes through, as he commands the unclean spirit to leave the man. After the exorcism the people again were astonished by the miracle that just took place. 

      Jesus was counter cultural. He lived a life, and instituted one, that went against the grain. One that stood out, that worked, that was needed. In his first 24 hours of public ministry Jesus finds himself teaching. We aren't told what he was teaching, all we know is that whatever he taught was 1) different than the scribes and 2) attracted the hearts of the people listening.  Jesus comes to build the kingdom of God on earth. The earth lived in sin. The earth was full of sin, God sent his son to fulfil his covenant with the people, to give hope to the people, and to establish his kingdom. 

     This kingdom, is counter cultural. It reformed how people saw each other, took care of each other, and helped each other. It changed the life of the people. It gave people hope-hope that God is with them, looking after them, and loves them. Jesus showed how life should be; a life full of love, compassion, care, and outreach. It should be a peaceful, respectful, loving life. Not a life full of jealousy, hatred, war and rejection. 


 In the time of Jesus, and very much today, this life is counter cultural. It goes against the grain, against the currents of the metaphorical ocean that is the world. Following Christ, the church, isn't easy. This world, especially is the west, is very secularized (subtraction of God and religion. However, as followers of Jesus we are challenged to be witnesses to the faith. Our faith must continue outside the walls of the church; it must be our life. We live out our faith by doing what Jesus asked; to be caring and compassionate to the less fortunate, to help the poor and vulnerable, to help anyone that needs help, to meet people where they are at and help them recover. 

     In the years that Jesus lived were defiantly 'defined' by him. He shaped the world around him. He had his followers and had his opponents. He instituted a counter cultural faith, society, life. As Catholics and Christians we are challenged to follow Christ in our life. This is extremely hard. The challenges we have because of the secularized world we live in can be very hard, but through consistent prayer and receiving of the sacraments we can become strong and help further the building of the Kingdom of God on earth! 


Popular posts from this blog

Forgive... Not Seven times but Seventy Seven times

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Matthew 18:21-22 
It's very hard to forgive. Forgiveness is essential to our life here on earth. Jesus gave us the perfect example of forgiveness while he was on earth. Jesus loved us so much that he bore all our sins on the cross that goes before us. Every wrong we have done; every pain has become  A LOT LIGHTER because Jesus bore it before us.
Jesus is asked by his own, disciples, how many times should they forgive. Because they know that they have to forgive, and they know they everyone does wrong, but how much is enough? We need to draw a line right? No.
Jesus tells us that we shouldn't just forgive seven times. He told us to forgive 77 times. Or 77 X 7 times. Which is a more perfect number. Jesus told us that we must forgive has many times that someone does wrong. …

Fishers of Men

I have had the pleasure recently to start teaching again the First Penance and Eucharist at my Parish. It is always  a great time for me to know that I am laying the seeds of God in their heart and knowing that I am preparing them for a once-in-life-time event.  I love seeing the kids who are earnest to learn and who want to be there.

     In todays' Gospel, we are presented with an overview of Jesus life. Jesus does three distinctive things, that Matthew wraps up very quickly. He teaches, proclaims, and heals. These three unfold for us what we can expect from Jesus during his life time.  However, before he begins his own life and mission one thing had to happen- the Death of John the Baptist. John, we know, was the last of the Prophets and his main mission was to make sure people were finally ready for the King  to come. Jesus, therefore, couldn't start until the paths were made straight.

     Jesus mission on earth is the great light that has appeared in the darkness. In…

Feed My Sheep

During this Easter season we are given the opportunity to listen and reflect on the word of God from the Gospel of John. For the third and final time this weekend, we will hear a post-resurrection appearance of Christ to his apostles. It is through these appearances that Christ proves his resurrection, dispels the darkness of doubt in his apostle’s mind, and commissions them to make known the love and joy of these events to the world.

The Gospel this weekend tells us that after the death and resurrection of Christ, the disciples have returned to fishing, as they once did before they followed Christ. These skilled fishermen do not catch anything all night, until a man comes on the shore of the beach and tells them to cast their net on the right side of the boat, and they catch an abundance of fish, that the net should have broke, but it did not. After they caught these fish, the apostles realized that it was the Lord, who has now called them a second time from their job of fishing to …