Resources - 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
A: Matthew 16:21-27 - Take up your cross and follow me - 22nd Sunday in Ordinary
Last week we heard
Peter's resounding belief that Jesus is the Christ and now when Jesus predicts
his coming passion, death and resurrection Peter is appalled and takes Jesus aside
to tell him that this whole idea of passion and death must be stopped. This is
not the kind of Messiah Peter is ready for and so he insists that there must be
a better way.
Peter's protest aside and rebukes Peter in the same way that he rebuked the storm.
Jesus insists that Peter is valuing human things rather than divine things and
this is the essence of their disagreement. Jesus explains that he will achieve
salvation, not by conquering Israel, but by conquering death. As this is beyond
human reasoning, it is understandable that Peter was asking for another way.
can Jesus conquer death? There had been sufficient death for Peter to see the
finality of death and yet Jesus is insistent that after he suffers and dies, he
will rise again and so conquer death. Jesus will die in Jerusalem because this
is the city where the prophets die and where his resurrection will have the greatest
impact on the religious and political leaders.
now realises that there is no escape from carrying your own cross if you are in
relationship with Jesus. Following Jesus means self-denial and generous self-giving
service. Happiness eludes those who seek it directly rather than seeking first
the will of God.
Christian does not mean living a life of misery because Jesus has said the he
has come so that we might have life and have it to the full. However, being a
Christian does present us with a number of choices - will we choose what suits
us and so make selfish decisions or will we prayerfully discern God's will?
states that God will reward each one according to their behaviour - again a clear
direction for all disciples. Do we choose God or do we choose ourselves? Do we
choose more possessions or do we share what we have with others? Do we value our
family and friends and so put those relationships above our own desires? Do we
go in peace to love and serve the world or do we leave church ideals in church
and forget about living the gospel each day? These are some of the questions and
challenges that arise from this Gospel.
Year C: Luke 14:1.
7-14 - Places of honour - 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
has his community in mind as he writes this passage with Jesus teaching about
the places of honour. In 1st C Mediterranean culture where you sat at symposia
was determined by your level of importance.
most important guest sat next to the host and so each table at a wedding would
then have the most important people sitting together. Luke's community lived in
this culture of places of honour so when they gathered for the memorial meal (Eucharist)
they followed the cultural by placing the more important members of the community
closest to the Eucharistic table.
is teaching that the Christian community is a community of equals - "there
is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male
nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" Gal 3:28.
message of equality is a difficult learning for many people, especially those
who are used to occupying the seats of honour. There are no reserved seats in
the Christian community. A homeless person is as welcome as the pastoral leader
because through their Baptism they have become "one in Christ Jesus."
'honour and shame' are 1st century values we still relate to them today. None
of us seek public embarrassment or shame and can relate to the humiliation of
rejection. Once again Jesus is asking us to think about the choices we make in
Who are the people
we honour and who are the people who are invisible in our society? Who do we value
and why? Do we seek out the powerful and influential and somehow hope to bask
in their reflection? Or do we see the humanity in another person before we notice
their position in society.
Those of us who are
influential in society are asked not to get caught up in our own importance. If
we are honoured in some way we can be thankful but never myopic. Those of us who
are the poor and lowly in society are also asked the same question. Do we value
those around us regardless of their position? If so, how do we live that out?
Resources 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
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