Quotations:

I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Reflections for Sunday September 16, Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Mark 8:27-35

Gospel:
Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" They said in reply, "John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets." And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said to him in reply, "You are the Christ." Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it."
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My Reflections:
There was a man who was praying to have a personal encounter with Jesus. He said to Jesus: “Please show yourself to me. I want to see you. I want to follow you, and I want to have this personal relationship with you.”  Then in his dream Jesus replied by saying, “Will you be willing to follow the path of my suffering?” With a forlorn face the man replied negatively after which Jesus told him “So you will not be able to know me deeply and you will not be able to have that personal relationship with me.”

Just like many of us Peter seems to be averse with suffering because he reproached Jesus after Jesus told him that He must suffer, be rejected and then eventually be killed. Why are we afraid to suffer by the way? Is it because we love the many self-gratification of this temporary world?  Which would we prefer the many temporal pleasures of this world or our personal intimacy with Jesus? Coursed through our many sufferings which are actually easy to bear for the simple reason that Jesus will help us carry them.

We do not presently have personal intimacy with Jesus for the reason that we love this world more than Jesus. We do not have personal closeness with Jesus because we easily forsake Jesus in favor of the many temptations and enjoyments of this world.

What will it benefit us if we gain this world yet we are unable to find Jesus in our lives? Nothing, its pure emptiness, yes we will be happy and yes we will find enjoyment. But it is fleeting it will not last long, soon after emptiness and loneliness will once again set in.   Let us not allow ourselves to be deluded by this world because we will not gain anything that is eternally precious and lasting.

It is only through our faithful discipleship with Jesus that we would be able to find ourselves. It is only through the carrying of our own cross that we would have a personal and lasting encounter with Jesus. 

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