TWENTY SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A.
3rd September 2023.
Jeremiah 20:7-9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27.
This Sunday Jesus is stating that sacrifice is the key to anything good. The work of Satan is to distract us from sacrifice. Jesus told 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. By this he exposed to them the nature of his passion which will bring salvation to all mankind. Peter tried to convince him out of sacrifice by not going to Jerusalem, but he reminded him that the way he thinks is not God’s way but man’s. Why do we often reject sacrifice and hope to get what is good? Why do we look for shortcuts to achieving things in life? Are we aware that any form of achievement devoid of sacrifice leads to self-destruction.
The self-destruction associated with lack of sacrifice is what Jesus called ‘losing one’s life’. According to Jesus, anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. Every human being possess the ability to sacrifice. The first reading stated it thus: a fire burning in the heart, imprisoned in the bones. Whenever we give in to suggestions against sacrifice, our quest in life become meaningless. Such suggestions are obstacles in our path. Like the second reading suggests: sacrifice is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do. Let us not give up on sacrifice. The good things we are enjoying today were the sacrifices of the past.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.