Each one of us is chosen to become ever closer to our Lord...
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 “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
In the liturgy for this Sunday, we discover much about the kind of relationship God wants with us – and the demands it can make on us. Jeremiah the prophet speaks of his great pain and hardships from trying to do what God commands. No one listens to him and he feels lost and abandoned. Yet the fire of God’s love still burns within him. Today’s Psalm, on the other hand, shows the blessing of a person living in God’s presence and trusting Him with one’s whole life. “In the shadow of Your wings I shout for joy. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:8-9). And in the Gospel, we hear Peter hotly protesting Jesus’ announcement that He will be tortured, killed and that He would then rise again. Peter and the others do not want to hear or believe what Christ needs them to understand about who He is and what He is doing for them and for all people – or about what they must do.
In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, he, too, is trying to convince those who believe in Christ that we are called to belong to Him by letting Him change our lives. “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” (Romans 12:2). We cannot merely say we believe in Jesus as the Redeemer who came to save us from the consequences of sin and the finality of death. We need to open ourselves to a deep relationship with Him that we allow Him to make us more and more like Him – good, holy, merciful. If we claim to be children of God, we need to let the Son of God transform us into His true sisters and brothers.
Suggested missionary action: Let us spend some time regularly in reading from the New Testament and in contemplation of Christ on the cross. Then we can better examine our conscience and ask Jesus to make us more like Him.