Pastors Desk: Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time/A

Posted 2nd September 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 3rd September 2017 - Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time / A

take-up-your-crossIn today’s Gospel Jesus surprises the disciples when he tells them that he will go to Jerusalem and is destined to suffer greatly there at the hands of the Elders, the chief priests and the scribes, die and be raised up on the third day.

Peter is reluctant to accept pain or hardship as part of discipleship and so he is quick to challenge Jesus and tells him that this must not happen to him. It seems that maybe Peter sees discipleship as a life of privilege and the very thought that it might end that way for Jesus or any of them was difficult to accept or comprehend.

In reply, Jesus tells Peter to step out of his way, that he must not be an obstacle to God’s plan for humanity. He tells him that the ways of this world are not God’s ways and He outlines the three conditions of discipleship: ‘Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me’. Followers must be prepared to renounce any sense of privilege or status and simply follow him.

That challenge to place all our trust in God and follow him with hearts and minds focussed on the reward we will receive in the next life is often difficult. Especially when we are told the journey may involve an element of suffering for us all. But the reward for us in this life is the knowledge that we don’t travel alone. That, during times of difficulty, pain and sadness, God is present, guiding us and sending others to us who help to carry our cross and ease the burden.

Fr Gerry