Putting on the mind of God...
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 30, 2020): JER 20:7-9; PS 63:2,3-4,5-6,8-9; ROM 12:1-2; MT 16:21-27
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
“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?” (Matthew 16:24-26)
As we continue to hear the Gospel according to St. Matthew, we hear Jesus tell the Apostles about the suffering, death and Resurrection that are ahead of Him. Only last week, we heard Jesus honor Peter for recognizing Him as the Christ and Son of God. Now Peter does not want to listen to such a horrifying idea as Jesus’ death. He lets his emotions get the best of him and actually reproaches our Lord. And Jesus strongly reproves Peter in turn because he refuses to think in accordance with God’s reason and will. Then Jesus tells Peter and the Apostles about their part in Almighty God’s plan for the world – and that of all who want to follow Him. “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?” (Matthew 16:24-26)
Not only is our Lord going to take up His cross, but He also expects them to do the same. His passion is essential to His mission of redemption. By putting on the mind of God, everyone who believes in Him must also accept suffering on our way to the ultimate triumph He wins for us. Jesus asks the Apostles a question that has echoed through the centuries: What would it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul? Christ did not come among us to redeem us from sin and death and then expect us to do nothing except to profess our belief in Him. He came to share our life, every day and every minute. He came to unite with us through Baptism, the Eucharist and the other Sacraments. He came to claim each and every one of us as part of His own Body. He came not only to reveal Himself to us, but also to one another. Our Savior, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, loves us, and wants us love Him back and to love one another as well. He gives everything to us – and asks for everything from us. St. Peter and the other disciples learned that, and so must we.