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“They Just Don’t Get It” By: Karen Theckston, Fiat Ventures

25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Have you even sat in class at school, maybe in Algebra or Geometry, and had the same concept explained to you a number of times, but it was still confusing and your brain just wasn’t getting it? That class was General Chemistry for me. I was an Environmental Science major in college and although I loved theoretical concepts of Environmental Science, like understanding what the people in the movie The Day After Tomorrow were talking about regarding the crazy weather patterns, I just couldn’t grasp the concept of moles and principles of organic matter. No matter how many questions I asked, or who I talked to, or who explained the concepts to me, I just didn’t get it. After some time, I just gave up on asking questions. I was embarrassed that these things were so easy for others to understand and not for me.  I felt frustrated, but I did my best and passed the class on pure luck and prayer…. And then came General Chemistry II.

This is where we find the Apostles in this week’s Gospel. Not in a classroom, but on a journey to Galilee with their teacher, Jesus, not really understanding what he was trying to say to them. He told them:

“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” Mark 9:31

But how can this be? How can Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man who came to save them and the whole world, who came to conquer all evil, be handed over to men and killed? This leaves them confused, frustrated and afraid to question him further. This wasn’t the first time Jesus says this to them, and they still just didn’t get it.

As we read through the Gospel of Mark, we hear about many miracles that Jesus performs on his journey with the disciples. He gives the deaf and mute man hearing, drives out numerous evil spirits and heals the eyes of many who were not able to see. Not only that, but he also opens the eyes of many hearts that did not believe before. However, Jesus is still having a hard time making his disciples see the truth of him and his mission.

Sometimes Jesus puts us in a situation that may be confusing or hard to make sense of. Not just in General Chemistry or that hard math class at school, but in our everyday lives. We might be going through something tough with one of our friends or family members, or dealing with an unexpected health issue that we just don’t understand. But we cannot close our eyes of faith during this time; we need to trust that Jesus is with us and will help us understand all that’s going on.

Although the Apostles didn’t understand exactly what Jesus was trying to say to them, they didn’t doubt him or stop trusting him. He just had a little more work to do to open their eyes of faith. And remember; eventually, things clicked for them! So hang in there.  Whatever you don’t quite understand today, you might look back on tomorrow or the next day with a different perspective.

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