Sunday August 31, 2014
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading Jeremiah 20:7-9
In this week’s first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah, we hear some of the personality that earned him the nickname the “crying prophet.” Living a prophet’s life sounds like it would be blessed since it is one anointed by the hand of God, but this reading gives us some insight into the struggle and suffering that he has endured through following the will of God. Being the voice of the Lord to people often means telling them they are wrong. It has cost him many relationships and left him feeling conquered. Sometimes we too feel like we just can’t take it anymore. By the nature of our baptism, we too are anointed priest, prophet, and king, and that means there will be many times in which we are called to proclaim the Truth and word of the Lord to people. Whenever we doubt our ability, we must act as Jeremiah does in the end, and recognize that it is too strong for us to keep within.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
R/ (2b) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Second Reading Romans 12:1-2
This short second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans has a lot of strong imagery that can be easily missed if you stop paying attention for even a moment. In this time, many of the new converts are also struggling with keeping the faith, and it’s become very tempting to go back to their old ways or change for the sake of keeping their old friends and lifestyle. Here St Paul urges them to keep the faith. He points out the in the past, there was a need for burnt offerings and sacrifices, but now our very bodies contain the sacrifice and are what we use to worship our Lord. Never forget that Jesus has the true power to transform our lives.
Gospel Matthew 16:21-27
This week’s Gospel from St Matthew is immediately following where we left off last week. In case you forgot, in the reading, Jesus praises the faith of St. Peter and proclaims that he will be the rock on which He will build His Church. How things change so quickly. In this never section, St Peter is taken back by the proclamation that Jesus will endure suffering and death at the hands of the Jewish leaders. It’s too much for him to handle, but Jesus quickly chastises him and that very rock then gets called “Satan.” Harsh, but Jesus is trying to prove the point of the intensity and high expectations of discipleship. Our path to Jesus cannot be separated from the cross, and promises us that losing it all here on earth will only lead to gaining everything of worth – eternal life.
A reflection from Bishop Vásquez
- Jesus says we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. What in your life must you deny yourself or lay down at Jesus’ feet in order to follow him completely?
Theme song Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc Background Music This Week