Matthew 16: 21-27
Sunday Reflection by Sister Breta Konzi, SNDdeN
The utmost desire of every person is to be protected and helped by the power of God. For the prophet Jeremiah the word of the Lord has become a laughing stock all the day. He is tempted to think the Lord has left Him. However, the heart of Jeremiah is burning to speak the word of God for he has been touched by the Lord.
When we feel that our services are not being appreciated or accepted, we should keep on doing the will of God but not our own will. God’s promises are attractive and we long for his blessings. As faithful Christians we do know and have witnessed God’s wonders in our midst.
In the Gospel of today, Jesus gives the conditions of Christian discipleship.
Deny yourself. –This is calling us to do away with selfish thoughts and desires, cleansing the heart of all bad habits and evil tendencies and enthroning God in one’s heart and surrendering one’s life to God’s service by serving others.
Take up your cross which means willingly accepting the pain involved in serving others sacrificially, spending our time, talents, wealth and health for others until it hurts us. Strictly put, it is our sacrificial sharing of God’s blessings with others, doing penance to make reparation for our sins and growing in self-control. Carrying one’s cross entails loving those whom we find difficult to love, forgiving those who hurt us most, being patient with the most challenging, doing our work with gratitude to God.
Follow Me – This means being ever ready to obey as Jesus directs through his words in the Bible and through the teaching authority instituted in the church. This is complete and total surrender to the will of God as communicated to us by the word of God.
Jesus knew he was going to suffer. He talks of his death and resurrection, something that made Peter rebuke him, for he rejected the idea of a weak, suffering, powerless messiah. Jesus rebukes Peter and brings him to rethink his concept of power. Jesus is talking of the heavenly power while Peter is thinking of earthly power. Jesus understands us when we suffer and he is there to accompany us.
My dear friends, let us love the cross, wear the cross and transform the God-given crosses of our life into the instruments of our salvation by working through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 16: 21-27
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.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Meet Sister Breta Konzi, SNDdeN