For the readings for this Sunday click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/090317.cfm
“No crown without a cross.” A former parishioner used these words whenever she encountered a difficulty in her life. It was her way of saying that life wasn’t always going to be easy, but by staying true to Christ, she believed that heaven would await her. In our Gospel for this weekend, Jesus told 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.” Peter responded: “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” Jesus, though, reminded Peter that “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Jesus then went on to tell his disciples that “Whoever wished to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” No one could accuse Jesus of false advertizing. He is clear. The cross --- in one form or another --- is a part of the life of every Christian.
Our First reading this weekend shares the theme of the Gospel. In it Jeremiah, the prophet, laments that he has been “duped” by the Lord. Because he has prophesied in the name of the Lord, he is mocked and the object of laughter. He vows: “I will not mention him, I will speak his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.” Clearly being a prophet has caused Jeremiah pain and ridicule --- this is his cross --- but he cannot turn away from his prophetic calling. Instead he submits to the will of God knowing that ultimately God will vindicate him.
In our second reading this weekend from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Paul urges the people: “Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of god, what is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- What cross(es) have you been called to carry?
- What has helped you to carry your cross(es)?
- Like Jeremiah, have you ever felt that you have been “duped” by God?