14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C
THE MARKS OF JESUS
For Jews, circumcision was as necessary as Baptism is to Christians. It was a permanent mark of their faith. The Church had decided to move away this practice at the Council of Jerusalem. Paul teaches that it is of no importance. He speaks of the "Marks of Jesus" on his body. He could be referring simply to his personal suffering or possibly to the "stigmata". Saint Francis of Assisi was the first person known to have shown signs of the wounds of Christ. Paul may have predated him by 1200 years.
FALL LIKE LIGHTNING
Jesus had sent his twelve Apostles on a trial to prepare them to be missionaries. Later he sent a larger group. It is equally successful. Christ speaks words of encouragement, noting that he "saw Satan fall like lightning from the sky." This is an echo of his words in John, "Fear not, I have conquered the world." In other words, we already know the end of our story: WE WIN!
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