for Sunday, August 31, 2014
Has God possessed you? Do you sense His presence in your life right now?
How has God worked in your life? The first reading today, from the Prophet
Jeremiah, recounts the experience of Jeremiah with God. Perhaps at times
we have known this presence of God, impelling us to do things that we would
not have done without His presence impelling us. If God's presence does
not affect our lives in some way, then we should question our relationship
We see the same thing in the Gospel today, from Saint Matthew. Peter is
convinced that he must counsel Jesus to be careful and not let bad things
happen to Him. Jesus rebukes Peter for this counsel. Instead, Jesus
counsels Peter to take up his cross daily and accept the bad things that
The lesson for us is clear: life is not about avoiding bad things.
Neither is life about seeking bad things. Life is about living for the
love of God because Jesus is our Lord and Master. If we follow Him and try
to live as He invites us to live, we will surely meet up with suffering and
difficulties. We must accept these sufferings and difficulties because we
love the Lord and see that they are the way we must live for the sake of
We live for the sake of Christ. We take up sufferings and difficult tasks
for the sake of Christ. It is all about loving God, loving one another and
loving ourselves. Once we accept Jesus Christ and commit ourselves to
living in Him and for Him, life takes on a wonderful sense of joy and
gladness because we are walking with Him and seeking only to do His will.
The Letter to the Romans today reminds us that life is about discerning
what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect in God. At
first, this living in God may seem strange and even at times inhuman.
After we begin to live in the way of Christ, we come to recognize that we
are indeed more fully alive because of living in Him and seeking His will.
And, yes, we will meet up with mockery and rejection from others at times,
but we can accept this because we know the love of Jesus Christ. Blessed
be God forever.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Jeremiah 20.7-9
Second Reading: Romans 12.1-2
Gospel: Matthew 16.21-27
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: