Scripture Notes – Sunday 19th September 2021

‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’


The teaching on discipleship in Mark’s Gospel is profound and relevant. As we know from reading the Gospel, he takes great care in its presentation, using a three-fold lay-out. Good teacher that he is, he teaches by misunderstanding, leading to a correction and clarification. The pattern can be see in the graphic below. The frames are vital: two healings, with the first in two stages. Mark knows that the cost of discipleship is not easy to understand or to live. It all takes time, perhaps our whole life.

The Readings for Sunday, 19th September

Some inspiration

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)

“I discovered later, and I’m still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world. That, I think, is faith.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Goldberg Variation 25, known as the “Black Pearl,” played by Glenn Gould. It is perhaps the most powerful music for keyboard ever written.

The Wexford Cycle 2021

For many years, I’ve undertaken an annual charity cycle for Peter McVerry SJ. The Peter McVerry Trust continues to help many, many young people in trouble, providing support, therapy and housing. The cause is very good and you, the subscribers, have been very generous in the past. To donate online, click here or on the image below.