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The Following of Christ (XXII Sunday OT — A)

Submitted by on Saturday, 27 August 2011No Comment
jeremiah-sistine

Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  Jeremiah 20:7-9
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 63
  • Reading II:  Romans 12:1-2
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:21-27

Jeremiah’s Plaint

The first reading from Jeremiah 20:7-9 is a plaint uttered during the prophet’s stay in lock-up. Pashur the priest had Jeremiah imprisoned because of the things he was saying. Jeremiah 20:7-10.14-18 should be understood together. These verses enclose as in a frame vv. 11-13. These central verses show us that despite tha pain and anguish that Jeremiah felt, he still continued to put his trust in the Lord. Verses 11-13 end with an invitation to sing to the Lord. Somehow, Jeremiah receives consolation from the Lord, a consolation that becomes a prophecy of doom for Pashur and those who associate themselves with him in persecuting the prophet.

Outline of Jeremiah 20
  • The Incident with Pashur (vv. 1-2)
  • Prophecy against Pashur (3-6)
  • Jeremiah’s Plaint
    • You duped me O Lord (7-9)
    • Against the people around him (10)
    • Confidence in the Lord (11-13)
    • Let my days be cursed (14-18)

    The Following of Christ

    carrying-the-cross

    Peter may have recognized in Jesus "the Messiah,the Son of the Living God", but he still had not understood what it really meant. And so when he tries to dissuade Jesus from thinking about a destiny that ends in suffering, Jesus calls him "Satan". In the voice of Peter, Jesus recognized the tempter — the one who hinders him from the path He was meant to follow.

    The misunderstanding of Peter also becomes an occassion for Jesus to underscore one aspect of the Christian life: the Christian’s union with Jesus in His Paschal Mystery. He who wishes to be a follower of Jesus must be with Him even on the cross, so that he can join Him in the resurrection, as Paul would say. In Romans 12:1ff, Paul’s exhortation that the Christians should offer their bodies as living sacrifice to God underscores this aspect of the following of Christ. He/she is to be holy — consecrated to God. This means that he/she will have to die to sin so as to live for God.

    The responsorial psalm expresses the soul’s desire for God. It is an echo of Psalm 42 where like the deer, the faithful thirsts for the living God. It also echoes what Augustine writes about the restless heart: "You made us for yourself, O God, and our heart is restless until it rests in You."

    More Reflections
    Jeremiah 20:7-9
    View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
    7Thou hast deceived me, O Lord, and I am deceived: thou hast been stronger than I, and thou hast prevailed. I am become a laughing-stock all the day, all scoff at me.
    8For I am speaking now this long time, crying out against iniquity, and I often proclaim devastation: and the word of the Lord is made a reproach to me, and a derision all the day.
    9Then I said: I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name: and there came in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was wearied, not being able to bear it.
    Romans 12:1-2
    View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
    1I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.
    2And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.
    Matthew 16:21-27
    View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
    21From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again.
    22And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee.
    23Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.
    24Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
    25For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.
    26For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?
    27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.
    Jeremiah 20:7-9
    View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
    7Thou hast deceived me, O Lord, and I am deceived: thou hast been stronger than I, and thou hast prevailed. I am become a laughing-stock all the day, all scoff at me.
    8For I am speaking now this long time, crying out against iniquity, and I often proclaim devastation: and the word of the Lord is made a reproach to me, and a derision all the day.
    9Then I said: I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name: and there came in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was wearied, not being able to bear it.
    Jeremiah 20:7-10
    View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
    7Thou hast deceived me, O Lord, and I am deceived: thou hast been stronger than I, and thou hast prevailed. I am become a laughing-stock all the day, all scoff at me.
    8For I am speaking now this long time, crying out against iniquity, and I often proclaim devastation: and the word of the Lord is made a reproach to me, and a derision all the day.
    9Then I said: I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name: and there came in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was wearied, not being able to bear it.
    10For I heard the reproaches of many, and terror on every side: Persecute him, and let us persecute him: from all the men that were my familiars, and continued at my side: if by any means he may be deceived, and we may prevail against him, and be revenged on him.
    Romans 12:1
    View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
    1I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.

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