22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time year ’A’ 22e dimanche du temps Ordinaire année ’A’

"If anyone wants to follow me let him take up his Cross and follow me.’
Sunday 9 July 2017

Jr.20,7-9 Ps.62 Rm.12,1-2 Mt.16,21-27

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time year ’A’

" From then on Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to leave for Jerusalem, suffer very much in the hands of the leaders, high priests and scribes, be killed, and then on the third day he would rise again.’ We wish to follow Jesus with a sincere heart and have to experience adversary which makes use of suffering and of fear of death taking us far away from God’s Infinite Love, from the One who is our Loving Father. Jesus will trace out a path for Peter, one not for human reasoning! It’s not a question of ’recognizing’ Jesus and the ’ideal’ we make of him, as we go on our journey in life. Christin life is made up of continuous renouncements, ones we have to make with Jesus. We may think we have understood the Word of God, and have followed Jesus, yet just around the corner we fall into those traps we had thought we could avoid! The Imitation of Christ says this:  ’It is not in human nature to carry the cross, to live the cross; if you counted on merely yourself, you could never do anything like this. But if you place your trust in the Lord, strength from above will be given to you, and you will have power over flesh and the world. And you will not fear even the devil, our enemy, if you are armed with faith and marked by the Cross of Jesus Christ.’ We need to walk behind Jesus who saves us by treading a path of great humility and make the experience of humiliation so as to enter into the ’Way’ who is Jesus Himself. ’Taking Jesus aside, Peter began to reproach him greatly, by saying to him! ’God forbid! Lord, may this never happen to you!’ But Jesu, turning around said to Peter ’Get behind me Satan!’ You are in my path: your thoughts are not those of God but of men." Jesus hears the answer Peter has just given to the disciples He is’ the Son of the Living God’, that is He is God Himself! But Peter hasn’t yet understood Jesus’ way of humility.  Here we have the first of all the apostles preventing his Lord and Master of revealing His Love for all mankind by dying on the Cross and rising from the dead! Only later on will he understand!  Following Jesus has, us experiment Jesus’ Infinite Love for the Father and for ourselves. Love itself saves us and has us enter into the narrowness of our own hearts. Jesus really has come to save us from all compromises with the devil, prince of this world. "Then Jesus said to his disciples: ’If anyone wants to walk after me, may he give himself up, take up his cross and follow me. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. Indeed, what advantage does a man have to earn the whole world, if at the cost of his life? What could he give in exchange for his life? For the Son of man is going to come with his angels in the Glory of his Father, then he will give to each one according to what he has done.’ To live in God means that we give Him the first place in our lives once and for all. May God be at the beginning and at the end of all our thoughts, words and actions in our lives. This implies a ’death’ to our ’me, myself, I’, which opposes itself always to God and others. In this way, we can live in the Holy Spirit.  This is the announcement of the Cross by Jesus who is the Son of God, He will show the Infinite Love of the Father in his merciful goodness for each one of us. Peter will learn the true meaning of true love: ’Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will keep it.’ We need to have the same ardour as Jesus in our own hearts. The prophet Jeremiah had this kind of ardour : ’There was within my deepest being a devouring fire.’ Jesus proposes to me a path of true life for whoever wishes to follow him, this is how he accomplishes our salvation. It is not a question of denying the beauty of our human nature and earthly life, but of putting God in the first place in our lives.

We ask Jesus for the grace of putting God in the first place of our lives.