Commentary for Sunday: XXII Ordinary Time

30th AUGUST 2020. 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Mt 16, 21-27

The Gospel of this Sunday tells us that Jesus was walking with the 12 Apostles towards Jerusalem and announces what is going to happen there: he will be arrested, condemned and crucified, but on the third day he will rise again. The evangelist St. Mark comments that the disciples “did not understand anything he said to them. So much so that Peter, whom Jesus praised last Sunday for his confession of faith, today rebukes the Lord for saying such things. Such things cannot happen to the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Peter does not even want to name them. Jesus is going to answer him with a very hard expression: “Get away from me, Satan; you think like men, not like God”.
Jesus wants to remain faithful to his hard mission and wants his own people to continue to take up their cross. Just like the prophet Jeremiah did in the first reading. Being faithful to the will of Jesus and not adjusting ourselves to the criteria and desires of this world, as Paul tells us in the second reading.
In spite of our good faith, we tend to “think like men”, and not “like God”. Our projects are more focused on material prosperity and temporal enjoyment. Perhaps these are not God’s ways.
Who likes the cross? We are better off with an easy and comfortable Christianity, “a la carte”, “personalized”, in which we accept some things and forget others. It’s the same for us as for St. Peter, but Jesus’ words do not give rise to any other interpretation: “Whoever wants to be my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me”. The cross cannot just be an ornament on the wall or hung around the neck. It is something more serious: it asks us to make sacrifices, to surrender, to give ourselves to others. “What does it profit a person to gain the whole world if they lose themselves?

Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf

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