Theme: “Go and Proclaim: Our LORD JESUS’ Death is for our Benefits!”
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 3, 2023
First Reading: Jeremiah 15:15-21
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 26:1-3;4-5;6-8
Second Reading: Romans 12:9-21
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:21-27
Homily by Fr. Romie- Jun Peñalosa
GO AND PROCLAIM: OUR LORD JESUS DEATH IS FOR OUR BENEFITS
(A RECAPITULATION BASED ON THE HOMILY OF +FR. ROMIE JUN PENALOSA)
We oftentimes think that living an eternal life is living forever. But eternal life also means quality of life – meaning, the same life that God has is the same life that flows through us. (Fr. Jun)
Sometimes, we might think or ask why God wants us to live a life like Him. This is because He loves us, and because He loves us, He is willing to give us everything He has – even eternal life. And how can we have it? Scriptures say that to know Jesus is eternal life, and to know Him is to have a relationship with Him and walk with Him as disciples. Jesus is not just a subject we need to study and analyze. He is a person we need to connect with and can only be possible when we are in a relationship with Him. We can enrich our relationship with Him when we follow Him every day of our lives as disciples! Our connection to Jesus sustains and nurture us to bear fruit, like the branch which abides in the vine. Our attitude of following Him creates a loving relationship allowing us to grow in love also.
The first reading teaches us that when we walk in Jesus we sometimes encounter difficult times in life. Like the prophet Jeremiah who suffers indignation from Israelites because of his prophesies, we sometimes encounter same feelings of being lost, being hated or being outcasts. But he finds comfort in God’s words and promises that He will be with him
The second reading reminds us to walk in love. The Apostle Paul teaches us to choose love over evil. To love is to order your life for the good of others (Thomas Aquinas). Love that is not based on feelings or emotions, rather made by choice and commitment.
The Gospel reading today talks about being mindful of the plans of God. We need to understand that God’s plans always have an element of sacrifice. We need to listen carefully to God when He is telling us His plans and be mindful of the things of God unless we become an offense to Him. As disciples, we need to submit and incline our thoughts and hearts toward Him.
Four things we should understand in cultivating our relationship in Christ:
- Have the desire. When we begin to think of the things of God, we start to have the desire to know Him.
- Deny yourself. Once we desire to follow Jesus, understand that we will no longer do things on our terms but His terms.
- Take up your cross. What is your cross? Suffering? Illness? Whatever it is, pick it up, carry and endure. “We can suffer with out love, but we definitely cannot love without suffering”. Like Jesus, He took our sufferings and turned them to sacrifice.
- Follow Him. Walking with God means imitating God. Jesus, despite all the bad things people did to Him, never repaid with evil. So, “if someone does evil to you, do good. For it is not who they are that matters; it’s who you are.”
As God’s people, we are basically are good. Let us continually remind ourselves that we are created perfectly in His image. So, every time our brothers/sisters offend us, have that deeper understanding for them and remind them by returning good!
Recap by: MERCY DE LA CRUZ-ESPIRITU
iTunes Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/ph/podcast/cathedral-church-saint-michael/id1139105076