Gospel : Matthew 16:21-27
Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord;’ he said ‘this must not happen to you’.
But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?
‘For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Fr Donal Neary, S.J
Gospel Reflections for the Year of Matthew
The third day
We meet deep human concerns and feelings in the gospel today. Peter is shocked to the core that Jesus would die; so shocked that he always later seemed to forget that Jesus promised that he would rise on the third day. Jesus talks very seriously about the cost of following him, like the cost of following any commitment in life.
Jesus invites us to live at the deepest level of ourselves. In the area of life where we live and love, laugh and cry, worry and enjoy, hurt and forgive. In all these very personal sides of life, Jesus dwells, since he says that he makes his home in us.
We can call it a sort of “third day’ hope. Nothing except love, which is eternal, was final for Jesus. For all the worst things of life there was a third day. The day on which hope would be fuller than any despair, and when life would be more lasting than death. Jesus was like that – when people met him, they remembered him and remembered how he touched the fears and anxieties of their lives with a deep hope.
We are “third day” people, knowing that the love and life of God, promised at our baptism, will always be in the air around us, filling us with the breath of God, and breathing fragrance all around us like the best of flowers. Later they would be raised from final despair and hopelessness at his resurrection. But it took time!
Breathing in and out receive the peace of God.
On the in-breath, let the word ‘peace’ echo within you.
Lord, may I never lose faith in you.
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net.