A Reflection From Fr. Gerry
Today’s Gospel is a sequel to the one we had last Sunday. We saw where Jesus proclaimed Peter as a spiritual rock but look at what happens today. Jesus calls him Satan and orders him out of his sight. So, what made the dramatic difference here – what happened? The problem had to do with the cross.
When Jesus was alone with his disciples, he said to them, that he must endure suffering, rejection and be put to death. It seems to me that the only logical response to this statement is a question that the disciples did not ask. Well maybe they did but it certainly was not recorded. But if you and I were there we would certainly want to know why he would want to endure this mess. I am sure that it has occurred to us all more than once that there were certain things, he could have done to avoid this and there certainly was.
For example, he could have stayed away from Jerusalem. It was a well-known fact that some of the leading citizens of that city hated this upstart prophet and were plotting his death, even his disciples pleaded with him not to go there. Jesus knew very well what he was getting into. This does not mean he had a death wish. It simply meant that some things were more important to him than even his own personal safety and one of these was his love for Jerusalem, a spiritual place for the people and he wasn’t about to hand it over to a small group of petty religionists. Yes, he could have walked away but his deeper concern would not allow him to do that. In this sense we could say that the cross was a moral imperative.
Another thing he could have done was to moderate his message a little bit more. For example, the parable of the Good Samaritan could be called “The Parable of the Bad Samaritan.” It would have proven that the Jews were good, and the Samaritans were bad. His enemies would have loved that. We detect here racism at its worst. Jesus had no time for racism, and neither should we. And he could have gone on healing and helping people if he would only stop doing it on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew that people were more important than the Sabbath. And Jesus could have been a lot nicer to the rich but instead of that he lashed out at them. Not because they were rich but because they would not share their abundance with those who had little or nothing.
Another thing he could have done was rally an army and fight back and there were people who wanted him to do so but wouldn’t that have violated everything he stood for? What about his teachings of love of enemies, turning the other cheek and the peacemakers? When I think of people who try to advance their cause through non-violent means I think of people like Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King and John Lewis who died recently and many others. Many of these people suffered greatly for the just causes they believed in, in many cases losing their lives.
So, for Jesus there seemed no way out. He would not be silenced nor would he compromise his message. He would not fight back not even to save his own life. The cross for Jesus was a moral imperative. It was inevitable.
I hope these few examples may help us to understand a little better of what Jesus meant when he said that he must endure suffering, be rejected and be put to death. We must wonder in what sense is the cross a moral imperative for each one of us. May God go with you.
READINGS FOR AUGUST 30, 2020
1st Reading—Jeremiah 20: 7-9—Jeremiah only reluctantly spoke God’s prophetic word. He tried to hold back, but the word burned like fire in his heart.
Psalm 63: 2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9—“My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.”
2nd Reading—Romans 12: 1-2—Paul urged the Romans to offer their bodies to God as a living sacrifice and not to conform to this age but to be transformed by God.
Alleluia! May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call. Alleluia!
Gospel—Matthew 16:21-27—Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL
1) Let us pray for the Church:
God, your name and your word are as a fire burning in our hearts. Help us to preach your word and bring your message to our world.
2) Let us pray for the world and all the people of the earth:
Be our help, O Lord, and cause all to thirst for peace and justice.
Reach out your hand to those in suffering from the ravages of the wild fires and the hurricane.
3) Let us pray for the sick of our community:
Lift up our friends, and those who have asked for our prayers, especially —
Holly Francis Marge Park Tony & Betty Morici Bill Knight
Elena Perea Diane Naren Dolores Cumming Dave Pearce
Dot Tebelman Cooper Pavkovich Alex Fabian Family
Roman, Vesna & Lillian Zakrajesek Renee Thompson
4) Let us remember the dead:
God, your kindness is greater good than life. Raise the dead and in your love
embrace them forever, especially —
(5:00 Mass) Lewis Massy, Cathleen Stalker, Rosalee Geis, Frances Ann Fisco
(8:30 Mass) Lou Peiffer
(10:30 Mass) Dominga Barrera Lopez, Terio Barrera
5) Let us offer to God our personal needs in silence:
May we bless you, Lord, every day of our lives.
Bring travelers safely home from their destinations.
We pray to the Lord…
ANNOUNCEMENTS – AUGUST 30, 2020
- Our school supplies will be given out this week. We are still in need of : Backpacks, wide rule notebook paper, pencil boxes, pencils, and highlighters. If you are able to help with any of these, please bring them to St. Anne by Monday morning. We thank you for your generosity.
- The Pregnancy help center in Oxford is in need of the following items: sippy cups, pacifiers, baby bottles, all size baby clothing 12 mos. – 2T both girls and boys. Please leave your donated items in the cradle located in the gathering area.
- The Knights of Columbus and St. Anne Parish are hosting the Deacon Tom Yezak Memorial Golf Outing at Hadley Acres Golf Course, Sunday September 13th. Proceeds will support Drew’s Home of Clarkston. Tee time is 12 p.m., registration at 11 a.m. for more information please check please check page 6 of the bulletin.
- Catechists: You have a meeting on Monday, August 31st at 6 p.m. at St. Daniel’s Parish.
- Registration for Religious Education Classes can be downloaded from our website under the Religious Education tab, or you can register at the parish office. All classes will be in an at home/on-line format from October 4th through December 18th. After the first of the year we hope to have in person classes which will be located at St. Daniel’s.