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22nd Sunday A

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Beloved Brothers and Sisters,


To follow the Lord is to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses.


From the Heart,
Fr. Heart, SVD

Published in: Spiritual
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22nd Sunday A

  1. 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time A 3 September 2017 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 1st reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9 • 7 You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me. 8 Whenever I speak, I must cry out, violence and outrage is my message; The word of the LORD has brought me derision and reproach all the day. 9 I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it. The focus is on the sufferings of Jeremiah.
  3. 3. 1st reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9 • 7 You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me. 8 Whenever I speak, I must cry out, violence and outrage is my message; The word of the LORD has brought me derision and reproach all the day. 9 I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it. Commentary • In v.7, the prophet Jeremiah talks to God. • He accuses God of duping (seducing, enticing, deceiving, alluring) him. • God is too strong for him. Jeremiah is helpless. He can’t defeat God. • For this reason, he has become an object of derision and laughter. The people mock him. V.7b • In v.8, Jeremiah recognizes the gravity of his message. It is very negative: violence and outrage (destruction, disaster). • The people deride and reproach him because of the Word of God. V.8b
  4. 4. 1st reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9 • 7 You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me. 8 Whenever I speak, I must cry out, violence and outrage is my message; The word of the LORD has brought me derision and reproach all the day. 9 I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it. • In v.9, Jeremiah soliloquys his reaction. “I will keep quiet. I will not represent him, not speak on his behalf.” • Yet, keeping quiet about God and his word does not give him peace. All the more he is consumed. • He grows weary (weak and sick, unhappy). • He has no freedom but to talk to the people.
  5. 5. Reflections on the 1st reading • To prophesy is not an easy job. • To bear God’s message is an honor, but it can create trouble. • To be a prophet, one has to endure derisions, humiliations and rejection. • However, a prophet who does not speak on behalf of God is a contradiction in itself. • Silence does not bring you peace. • Do you have more peace when you don’t speak out?
  6. 6. Resp. Ps 63:2. 3-4. 5-6. 8-9 • R. (2b) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God. 2 O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. • 3 Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, 4 For your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you. • 5 Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name. 6 As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. • 8 You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. 9 My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.
  7. 7. Resp. Ps 63:2. 3-4. 5-6. 8-9 • R. (2b) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God. 2 O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. • 3 Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, 4 For your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you. • 5 Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name. 6 As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. • 8 You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. 9 My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me. Commentary • In v.2, the psalmist expresses his longing for the Lord. He uses similes. • V.3 indicates that he is in the Temple, where God manifests his power and glory. • V.4 affirms God’s kindness and goodness. • The psalmist promises to praise God and pray to him always. V.5 • V.6 assures that the psalmist will be satisfied, like eating in a banquet. • V.8 affirms that God is his help. The psalmist rejoices in God’s maternal protection. • V.9 is an image of a strong tie between God and the psalmist.
  8. 8. Reflections on the Psalm • How nice it is to pray this psalm! • It is a prayer of an appreciative person. • We can appropriate (make it our own) this psalm if we are not negativistic. • We clear our minds and shred off negative emotions in order to pray the psalm sincerely. • How do you pray to God?
  9. 9. 2nd reading: Romans 12:1-2 • 1 I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. 2 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. The focus is on offering ourselves as sacrifice.
  10. 10. 2nd reading: Romans 12:1-2 • 1 I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. 2 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. Commentary • In v.1, Paul urges the Christians in Rome to make their bodies as a living sacrifice. • Paul sees the body as something good, not evil in the eyes of God. • In v.2, Paul encourages the Christians not to be swayed by the enticements of this world. • Instead, they should be transformed. • The means of transformation is the renewal of their mind. • V.2b gives the purpose of their transformation: – To discern the will of God – To do what is good and pleasing and perfect
  11. 11. Reflections on the 2nd reading • Paul views the human body as something sacred and beautiful, not evil. • Our bodies can be offered as sacrifice to the Lord. • We use our bodies to relate with God. • We should not allow our bodies to conform to the values of the world. • If we are worldly, conforming to this “age,” we will not be able to discern godly values. • We will never know what is good, pleasing and perfect.
  12. 12. Gospel reading: Matthew 16:21-27 • 21 From that time on, 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. 22 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." 23 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." 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 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? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct. The focus is on suffering.
  13. 13. Gospel reading: Matthew 16:21-27 Jesus’ unexpected destiny • 21 From that time on, 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. Rebuke of Peter rebuked • 22 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." • 23 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." The cost of discipleship • 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 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? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct. A simple outline!
  14. 14. Gospel reading: Matthew 16:21-27 Jesus’ unexpected destiny • 21 From that time on, 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. Rebuke of Peter rebuked • 22 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." • 23 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." Commentary • In v.21, Jesus predicts his fate in Jerusalem. • He will suffer greatly, from the elders, and be killed and be raised from the dead (paschal mystery). • The elders, the chief priests and the scribes belong to the aristocracy (Sadducees), to the priestly class, administering the Temple of Jerusalem. • In v.22, Peter does not understand the meaning of what will happen to Jesus. • He accosts Jesus and rebukes him. • He does not agree that Jesus should suffer and die. • In v.23, Jesus rebukes Peter, for not conforming to the plan of God, for thinking like an ordinary human being concerned only with self-preservation, avoiding sufferings. • Here is revealed the contrast of the mind of God and that of human beings.
  15. 15. Gospel reading: Matthew 16,21-27 The cost of discipleship • 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 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? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct. • In v.24, Jesus challenges his disciples. • He adds more conditions to follow him truly: – To deny oneself – To take up his/her cross – And follow him (to his way of the cross) • Vv.25-26 are warnings for those who are after their own self-preservation, and who desire to possess everything (including one’s life). • In v.27, Jesus, as the Son of Man, promises generous reward to those who will take up his challenge. • It is implied that they, too, will resurrect from the dead. See v.25b again.
  16. 16. Reflections on the gospel reading • We cannot be true followers of Christ if we are not willing to undergo suffering and death. • This is the cost of discipleship. • Avoidance of suffering and death is the teaching of the world and Satan. • Peter, who acknowledged Jesus as Christ, is called Satan by Jesus because he missed an important point. • The way to God and salvation is the way of the cross. • There is no other way. • Forget following Christ, if you want to maintain your comfort and luxury.
  17. 17. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm • The first reading talks of the sufferings of the prophet Jeremiah. • The psalm acknowledges God as a refuge of a guy who has suffered much. • The second reading talks of offering our bodies as sacrifice to God. • The gospel reading talks of undergoing suffering in order to attain glory. The preacher must focus on the cost of discipleship.
  18. 18. How to develop your homily / sharing • Are you a disciple of God? • When you follow Christ, does it mean you are free from trouble? • The readings say no. • If you want to follow Christ, you will be in trouble.
  19. 19. • In the gospel reading, Jesus challenges us, his disciples, to carry our crosses and forget ourselves. • We have to deny ourselves from comfortable lives. • We don’t give in to our caprices, tendencies, addictions, bad attitudes and wrong motives. • We have to make necessary sacrifices. • We don’t cling to our power, titles and what not.
  20. 20. • In the first reading, Jeremiah cries over his sufferings. • He knows the reasons why he is in deep trouble. – The message that he carries is not acceptable to the people. – So the people despise him. – Jeremiah becomes an object of bad jokes and ridicule. • Jeremiah feels hurt and badly beaten. • As a prophet, Jeremiah has no way out. It is a kind of “damn if you do, damn if you don’t” thing. • He has to move on, he has to overcome his fears and comfort.
  21. 21. • In the second reading, Paul encourages voluntary suffering. • He convinces his fellow Christians to offer themselves as acceptable sacrifice to the Lord, never allowing themselves to indulge in worldly pleasures. • They should not be seeking what conforms to this age. • Paul states the reason why: – That they may be able to discern what is good, pleasing and perfect to the Lord, i.e., to make the correct decisions.
  22. 22. • The readings are against hedonists, who are always seeking pleasure, not Christ. • The readings encourage us to endure pain and suffering. • It is part of the game, if not the main dish. • That’s the only road to success, glory and heaven. • Each effort entails sacrifice.
  23. 23. • Beware of church workers, servant-leaders, who avoid sufferings. • You cannot rely on them. • Beware of false disciples. They are riders in the activities of the Church. They don’t shell out any centavo. They exert no effort. They bring no food. They are there when everything is ready. • To be true ministers in the Church, we must be willing to pay the price and to be crucified.
  24. 24. • The eucharist is a sacrament that strengthens us in our sufferings. • The eucharist is meaningless to people, who have no commitment to Christ and are avoiding sacrifices. • In the eucharist, Jesus reminds us of his passion, death and resurrection.
  25. 25. Our Context of Sin and Grace • Hedonism • Vanity, glamour • Gimmicking • Avoidance of what is discomfort and cumbersome. • Going always to fun places. • Glory without sacrifice • Going up the ladder without undergoing a process. • Committed Christians, who are willing to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of the poor and Christ. • Heroism • Martyrdom • Higher values • Living by honest work
  26. 26. Suggested Songs • Follow Christ by Sebastian Temple • Bayang Tinawag – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhzcbwbfMe8

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