for Sunday, August 28, 2011
Today's first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah is very strong. Perhaps we
can identify with his feelings and emotions about our relationship with
God. This presumes, of course, that we already experience God presence in
all that we do and say and feel and are. It also presumes that we
basically try to do God's will in every aspect of our lives. Jeremiah is
so upset that he even tells us that he will not mention HIM anymore.
Jeremiah is struggling with God, trying to push God out of his life
because God wants too much. God does not allow this, but remains in
Jeremiah - could we say: giving him heartburn and aching bones? Whatever it
is, Jeremiah knows that it is God forcing him to live by His word. Again,
we may have experience this at times: knowing what is true and right and
what we must do, but resisting it with all the strength that we can muster.
Contrast this to the second reading, from the Letter to the Romans: 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. This letter sounds so serene as if we could simply
choose to obey God and do all that God asks. We know, however, that
elsewhere Saint Paul tells us that what he wants to do, he cannot do; and
that what he does not want to do is what he ends up doing.
Both of these readings prepare us for today's Gospel from Saint Matthew.
Jesus rebukes Simon Peter for tempting Him to avoid what must happen:
Jesus is present to us knowing that He must suffer greatly, be killed and
be raised from the dead. Even the thought of the resurrection is not
enough to take away Jesus' own repugnance to the suffering and death that
He must undergo.
Ultimately, both Jeremiah and Jesus accept God's will and embrace whatever
God the Father asks of them.
For ourselves, we must identify in our own lives those areas which we
either do not want to give to God at all or which we are only able to give
a part of. Only as we begin to walk in the Light do we begin to see the
darkness in ourselves. Only when we see the darkness can we long for
Light. Only when we see our own darkness can we begin the struggle to give
ourselves completely to God.
May God the Father, who always loves, lead us into the struggle and give
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: