Year B Proper 21 Mark 9 2012
Be at Peace with One Another
One person armed with the Gospel of peace can change the world. Telemachus did. He was a monk who lived in the 5th century. He felt God saying to him, "Go to Rome." He was in a cloistered monastery but he put his possessions in a sack and set out for Rome. When he arrived in the city, people were thronging in the streets. He asked why all the excitement and was told that this was the day that the gladiators would be fighting in the coliseum, the day of the games, the circus. He thought to himself, "Four centuries after Christ and they are still killing each other, for enjoyment?" He ran to the coliseum and heard the gladiators saying, "Hail to Caesar, we die for Caesar" and he thought, "this isn't right." He jumped over the railing and went out into the middle of the field, got between two gladiators, and tried to stop them. The crowd became enraged and stoned the peacemaker to death.
When the Emperor of Rome, Honorius, heard about the monk he declared him a Christian martyr and put an end to the games. Legend has it that the very last Gladiatorial game was the one in which Telemachus died.
Jesus said, "Have salt in yourselves - be at peace with each other." Sometimes it seems we have gladiatorial games going on inside the church, inside our homes, at work...
All is Different Now
Each of us has moments, choices, circumstances in our lives that act as a watershed — experiences dividing our life into everything "before" and everything "after." The event doesn't have to be devastating or dramatic. Sometimes it is joyful and exhilarating. Sometimes it is a quiet realization. Sometimes it takes decades for us to even determine just when that moment occurred.
You have a parent or a sibling die.
You are the first in your family to go away to college.
You enlist in the military.
You get married.
You become a parent.
You win the lottery.
You declare bankruptcy.
You have a heart attack . . . but you wake up.
Whatever it may be, the event changes your perspective, changes your life's trajectory, changes your dreams, and changes your goals. All is different now.
"Before" you lived in one world.
"After" you live in a different world.
A different world is what Jesus kept trying to describe to his disciples. A world so completely topsy-turvy to their experience they found it incomprehensible...