ü The prophet Jeremiah confesses that he cannot stop saying what God reveals to him, it is like a fire in his bones that impulses him to continue speaking.
ü Jesus says that whoever wants to follow him has to deny him or herself.
ü Paul invites us to offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice pleasing to God.
FIRST READING Jer 20:7-9
v This Reading is taken from the last section called “confessions of Jeremiah” which begin on chapter 10.
v Through this chapters we find what has been called “confessions” which are texts that reveal a unique intimacy of Jeremiah with God. All these texts are especially beautiful and show to us the portrait of a man in love with God.
v You have seduced me… these are strong words which reveal the inner struggle of a man completely in love with God and at the same time tired to suffer for the cause of the Word which becomes fire inside of him.
v You were stronger than me so you overcome me, this is a very strong image which describes very well what happens when a man seduces a woman. Jeremiah says that this is what has happened to him in relation to God.
v The complain of Jeremiah is that since that seduction he has to speak in the name of God who reveals to him the sufferings which his people will experienced due to their unfaithfulness.
v Jeremiah says that he has taken the decisión neither to speak anymore in the name of God nor to listen anymore.
v But what happens?
v The Word becomes fire inside of him and he has to give it, pronounce it, utter it because he cannot resist the suffering caused by his keeping the Word for himself, he has to share it.
v What a wonderful image of the love of the Word, of the power of seduction that the Word has.
v Have we allowed ourselves to be seduced as Jeremiah was? Is the Word of God a fire which consumes our most inner being.
v If this is not so yet, let us ask God, let us ask Jesus that his Word may become fire that consume us so that we may be able to put in fire of his love the whole world.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 63: 2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9.
MY SOUL IS THIRSTING FOR YOU, O LORD MY GOD
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
So have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
To see your power and your glory
For your kindness is a greater good than life
My lips shall glorify you.
Thus will I bless you while I live
Lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied
And with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
You are my help,
And in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy
My soul clings fast to you
Your right hand upholds me.
ü This psalm shows an intimacy similar to the first Reading.
ü You are my God, I seek you, I adhere myself to you, I raise my hands to you...
ü God is everything for the psalmist who says his longing for God, his attraction towards God.
GOSPEL Mt 16:21-27
v After Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Messiah” which we read last Sunday, Jesus begins to teach the apostles what does it mean that he is the Christ.
v To be the Christ, the faithfulness to his mission will entail sufferings for Jesus, persecution, humiliation and death.
v But death will not be the end, because he will rise again on the third day.
v What does it mean that he will rise again? What does he want to tell us? We do not understand…
v Peter, the man who is the closest friend of Jesus, whom he loves with his entire being, Peter always impulsive speaks again, but now he does not repeat the words which the Father has told him, but his own words.
v God forbid, Lord! How can this be true? It is impossible, you are the Christ, do you not remember? And the Christ cannot neither suffer, nor be defeated.
v Peter you think as a man, Jesus is inviting them, inviting all of us, to see the events of our life, of history with the eyes of the Father who knows what is good for us.
v The answer of Jesus is harsh “go behind me Satan” what did Peter feel when he Heard these words of Jesus calling him the tempter, the seducer.
v Did Peter with his words have the power to be a temptation for Jesus? This is a mystery which goes beyond our understanding
v Maybe Jesus was experiencing something similar to what Jeremiah experienced? I will not speak anymore about you, but I could not, your word is fire inside of me. Maybe the words of Peter were echo of the temptation in the desert: you can be a Messiah in an easier way and at the same time more spectacular, you will see how everyone follows you… transform the stones into bread… throw yourself down from the Temple… kneel before me
v Why does Jesus say to Peter “get behind me” which has the same meaning as go after me? Because who goes first is the teacher, the disciple follows the teacher.
v And Jesus gives teaches them a lesson, the great revelation
o Whoever wants to come after me, get behind me
§ Must deny himself or herself
§ Take his or her cross, his or her own life
o And come after me, why?
§ For whoever wishes to save his or her life will lose it
§ But whoever loses his or her life for my sake will find it.
§ What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his or her life
§ O what can one give in Exchange for his life?
v This Gospel puts in front of us the fundamental question of our life, the following of Jesus we have been called to, even before we had been conceived, and which has become visible and public at our baptism.
v In our baptism we were submerged into the death and resurrection of Jesus to be other Christs, and thus continue in the world his mission to seek the brothers and sisters who has gone astray.
v The Gospel ends with these words of Jesus: the Son of Man will come at the end of time, he will not come in poverty and humility as in the first coming, but he will come in the glory of the Father, which is also his glory, and he will give to each one what is due.
v Come Lord Jesus and you who are the way, walk with us so that when you come at the end of times, you will say to us the so long expected words “come you blessed from my Father, because you loved me in each one of your brothers and sisters in need who you met on the journey of your life.”
SECOND READING Rom 12:1-2
Paul exhorts us to offer ourselves, our bodies, our own being to God as an aceptable and holy offering.
IN the day of our baptism we were anointed “priest, prophet and king.” Our priestly being enables us to offer sacrifices to God, and our sacrifice is our own life “your bodies”
What a consolation and what enthusiasm these words awaken in us, knowing that our life, simple, sometimes broken, hidden from the eyes of the great public, this my life can be an offering pleasing to God, if I offer it with simplicity and humility.
My life becomes then a worship of adoration to God.
Yes, my life as a husband or as a wife, as son or daughter, as an older person or as a Young person… My life has the possibility to be an offering of adoration to my God.
Paul continues and invites us not to conformed our mind to the mind of the word of sin, the world that lives far from God and of the good of others.
Let us allow the Lord to transform ourselves, by the renewal of our mind, our way to look at life, allow the Spirit of Jesus to enkindle in us the fire of the Spirit, so that we may know what is good and pleasing to God our Father, to Jesus our brother and to the Spirit, our teacher.
After we reached the port in less than an hour, all the city knew already the news that “Rosalia” had entered. Everybody considered it lost by fatal information spread everywhere. (I do not know how it could be known because, since the day when the water started to enter, God our Lord who made himself our helper, did not permit us to meet any other ship so that nobody could get us out of the peril but his omnipotent hand). Then, it was said that some of the passengers were nuns, and God moved a very devout lady to pity so intensely that in that very moment sent her husband to offer us their whole house and personnel. Being unable to disembark in this port because of the storm, this good gentleman sent a recommendation letter through boats, which look like a horse over the foams of that stormy sea (it also brought provision of foods) this letter was address to a friend of his Lanzarote – where it was so suppose d would land and he told him to do for us all what he would do for his own family. This friend fulfilled it so delicately that it was necessary to put an end to his excesses. Venerable Maria Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, 153
I remained in the capital, where I inaugurated the pastoral visitation, starting in the cathedral and then going through the parishes. Every day administered the Sacrament of Confirmation. There were a great many to be confirmed, and so, to avoid confusion, I had some forms printed and distributed the right quantity of them to the rectories the day before confirmations. These forms were then filled in with such data as the names of those to be confirmed, their parents, and their sponsors. This helped avoid confusion and crowding and made it easier to record the data later with greater accuracy and leisure. I always followed this procedure, and it worked quite well with all those I confirmed – and that came to no less than 300,000 persons during my stay of six years and two months on the island. Beside the visitation and confirmations, I preached on all Sundays and holy days of obligation. I never failed to preach, no matter what part of the diocese I happened to be in at the time. Toward the beginning of June I left the city and went to Caney, to conclude the mission that Father Stephen and Father Curríus had started and were very successfully carrying on. After confirming everyone, I preached the closing service of the mission. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 515-516
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra. Ciclo A (Mateo) 2007
LA BIBLIA, traducción tomada de la página web del Vaticano.
LA BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO. Texto de Luis Alonso Schökel.