Sunday 21 October 2018

Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Isaiah 53:10-11
Responsorial Psalm 33:2-4, 18-19, 20, 22 Response 22
Second Reading Hebrews 4:14-16
Gospel Mark 10:35-45

The response this week is:

“Let your love be upon us, Lord, even as we hope in you.”

That is the piece from all the readings this week that has stuck with me most. In the spring we had seen a surgeon because our son had developed scoliosis. This is on top of or because of his neurofibromatosis. In the spring it looked like surgery was immanent. He expected surgery to be within the next 8-12 months. As a preventative measure our son was given a back brace to wear 23 hours a day. After reading a book this summer about Lourdes, Saint Bernadette Soubirous And Our Lady of Lourdes by Anne Eileen Heffernan, Elizabeth Tebo and Mari Goering Encounter the Saints Series Book 2, he wanted to know if we could go so he could bathe in the waters there. As much as I would have loved to have done that it was just not an option. But a priest, Father Edward Looney sent us some Holy Water from there, and we have been praying asking the intercession of Emil Kapaun, and blessing his neck and spine with the water from Lourdes. This is what my wife shared before coming home from the hospital in Hamilton on Thursday:

“Sometimes you don't know you've been holding your breath until you exhale. That's how today felt - another trip to McMaster to check in on Liam's scoliosis. The curve was at 52 degrees in the spring and surgery seemed imminent. He got his brace 3 months ago and today they checked him without the brace and the curve was at 46 degrees....and...with the brace ON it was at 36 degrees!! Such good news! Surgery is no longer necessary right now. We will keep up with the brace and begin some physio to help improve his flexibility and gain some strength in his core and check back again in 3 months. Feeling relieved. Thank-you for all of your prayers and support - God is so good!”

The interesting things is the brace was not going to make anything better, it was only to help it from getting worse. God’s goodness is the unifying theme in this week’s readings. From the prophecy in Isaiah about Jesus bearing our inequities. To the end of the second reading:

“Let us therefore approach the throne of Grace with boldness, do that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

When I pray with him before bed I pray “If it is god’s will that his spine will heal and he not need surgery, but if he needs surgery that God would guide the surgeon’s hands and strengthen us as a family to get through it.” And He loved praying with the special holy water. A few times he has even asked for it and blessed my eyes for healing. And that brings us to the end of the gospel passage:

“For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

That is our hope, and in whom we hope. Jesus, we trust in you!

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