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, August 28, 2014

Reflection for Sunday August 31, Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 16:21-27

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Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27
Jesus began to show 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. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.  You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “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 will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?

Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
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When do we have a true encounter with Jesus? It’s when we are burdened by the worries and suffering/s of this world this is where we have a personal encounter with Jesus. Never would we have a personal encounter with Jesus if we are enjoying the fruits of this world. It’s always through our worries and suffering that we have a true discernment of the presence of Jesus in our lives.

When Jesus told the disciples that he will go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed. Peter was adamant with his protestation, Peter even told Jesus, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” Why did Peter oppose this suffering statement of Jesus? Was he concerned of the welfare of Jesus? Or Peter was afraid that if Jesus would suffer and eventually die, they too would experience suffering/s because Jesus will not be with them anymore to protect them.   

Nonetheless, Jesus told them that if they really want to follow Him they must be ready to suffer and embrace suffering as well! For its only through suffering that they would be able to develop deep intimacy with Jesus. We would never develop a personal encounter with our Lord if we are averse with suffering and if we are enjoying life’s hedonism.

But reality bites! We would rather enjoy life than suffer or face hardship and we would rather enjoy life than truthfully follow Jesus. There are even some rich and even famous celebrities who chose to commit suicide than face their suffering/s.

It’s only through our suffering/s and trial/s that Jesus comes to our lives. It’s through our moments of defeat and persecution that the abiding presence of Jesus is clearer to us.  It’s when we carry our own cross that we feel that Jesus is walking with us and helping us to carry it. Let us never be afraid to face our sufferings and to carry our cross no matter how heavy and difficult. For we will be able to hurdle all of these trials if we invite Jesus to help us.

Are you going through some difficult moments in your life right now? Invite Jesus to come into your life and ask Jesus to heal you. He will never refuse you. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

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