Readings and Gospel 30.8.2020

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 124

Reading 1

You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me.

Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
violence and outrage is my message;
the word of the LORD has brought me
derision and reproach all the day.

I say to myself, I will not mention him,
I will speak in his name no more.
But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (2b) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Reading 2

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”

REFLECTION

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”  Matthew 16:23

This was Jesus’ response to Peter after Peter said to Jesus, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you” (Matthew 16:22).  Peter was referring to the coming persecution and death that Jesus had just predicted in his presence.  Peter was shocked and concerned and couldn’t accept what Jesus was saying.  He couldn’t accept that Jesus would soon “go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised” (Matthew 16:21).  Thus, Peter expressed his concern and it was met with a strong rebuke from Jesus.

If this were spoken by anyone other than our Lord, it might be immediately concluded that Jesus’ words were too much.  Why would Jesus refer to Peter as “Satan” for expressing his concern about Jesus’ well-being?  Though this may be hard to accept, it does reveal that the thinking of God is far above our own.

The fact is that Jesus’ pending suffering and death was the greatest act of love ever known.  From a divine perspective, His willing embrace of suffering and death was the most awesome gift God could give to the world.  Therefore, when Peter pulled Jesus aside and said, “God forbid, Lord!  No such thing shall ever happen to you,” Peter was actually allowing his fear and human weakness to interfere with the divine choice of the Savior to lay His life down for the salvation of the world.

Jesus’ words to Peter would have produced a “holy shock.”  This shock was an act of love that had the effect of helping Peter to overcome his fear and to accept the glorious fate and mission of Jesus.

Reflect, today, upon any way that you find yourself resisting the call to sacrificial love.  Love is not always easy and often times may demand great sacrifice and courage on your part.  Are you ready and willing to embrace the crosses of love in your life?  Furthermore, are you willing to walk with others, encouraging them along the way, when they, too, are called to embrace the crosses of life?  Seek strength and wisdom this day and strive to live by the divine perspective in all things, especially suffering.

Lord, I love You and pray that I may always love You in a sacrificial way.  May I never fear the crosses I have been given and may I never dissuade others from following in Your steps of selfless sacrifice.  Jesus, I trust in You.

From Catholic daily reflections.com