22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Jeremiah 20:7-9 Romans 12:1-2 Mathew 16:21-27
Theme: A Call to Discipleship
A call to discipleship is the theme that reflects in our liturgy today. It is an invitation to self-immolation. We must be ready to die to the self to reach out to both God and humanity. We must learn to be selfless, like we see in today’s first reading. The prophet desired to stop performing his prophetic role, but he could not because the fire of God continued to prompt him to carry out his role. He continued his prophecy; that goes to show the prophets love for both God and humanity. Even though his prophetic role was bringing him pain, because of the rejection he was getting from the people.
In the same way dear friends in Christ, like the prophet Jeremiah, is your discipleship costing you your joy, is it bringing you pain? If the answer is yes, then you are on the right track. There may be moments when you have decided to stop speaking or serving because some people you have not wronged in any way and have been good to are going about with wrong information about you. By so doing, bringing you pain and sorrow. The Lord is simply saying to you through today’s liturgy that you are on the right path. There is always a cost that a disciple must pay for his discipleship; just like Jesus himself did. The good news is that at the end of the difficulties and challenges there will be reasons to appreciate and celebrate God.
In the second reading, from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul invites us to holiness of life. Embracing this invitation will bring forth transformation, renewal, and purification in our lives. The gift that we are, is it a gift that is worthy to be presented to the other? We need that transformation to be that which God wants us to be. The gift of yourself to the other, is it something you are proud of, and God is also proud of? It is an invitation to transformation and holiness of life. An invitation for us to sacrifice that which we love so much for the good of others; are you ready and willing to make it happen? Our call to discipleship is difficult and challenging, but there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. In the gospel reading, Jesus reminds us about the fact that we must be ready to die to the self, we must be ready to take up our cross daily and follow him.
Interestingly, as people of God, we find it challenging to embrace the cross, because often it comes with pains. But the Lord is saying to you and I that it is a path we must walk if we truly want to attain salvation. We must strive to carry our crosses daily, because that is where we will find peace and meet God. It is in the cross that we will find happiness and triumph. Jesus carried his cross onto victory and as his disciples we must be encouraged by that fact. Let it be always a source of strength to you. We must be ready to walk through the narrow way, our key to eternal glory. May God grant us the grace to embrace our cross in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you!