Reflection on Scripture Twenty-second Sunday Gospel A Take up cross

By 10:07 AM

Twenty-second Sunday Gospel A

From that time on, 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 him 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." 

· Prior to this, Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say I am?” Peter responded: “You are the Messiah.” But the Messiah Peter was thinking about was not the Messiah Jesus was called to be. He would not be a political or military messiah, but a suffering servant who would lay down his life freely out of love and obedience for the salvation of people.

· Peter’s refusal to accept Jesus’ understanding of a suffering servant Messiah, who would die a cruel death but rise again, is seen by Jesus as a distraction from Satan. It was an attempt to divert Jesus from the Father’s call to him. It was the continuation of the temptations in the desert.

· What were the times we did not understand God’s plan in our lives but were distracted by a subtle ploy of Satan to deflect us from what God desired of us?

· How do you think Peter felt when Jesus rebuked him in this way? What would you feel if Jesus said the same to you?

"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself take up his cross, and follow me.

· To deny oneself is to remove oneself as the center of one's focus and instead to make God’s plan our focus.

· What crosses have you had to embrace on your spiritual journey? How has your life been affected and transformed by these crosses?

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 everyone according to his conduct. 

· What do these words of Jesus say to you?

· Jesus makes clear that the condition for being a true disciple is the willingness to give up one’s life for him.

· What are you being called by God to give up in your life so that you will find real meaning in your life?

· Like the disciples, we hear sometimes part of and not the whole message. They stopped listening at the point of his predicted death, but they did not hear the resurrection.  We hear Jesus speak about the cross but we do not remember the reward after death: life everlasting in glory.

· What resolution do we make in response to the words of Jesus?


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