HOMILY, 22ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
Jer 20:7-9, Romans 12:1-2, Matthew 16:21-27
When our life battle is not over, we must not desire death. Our life is worth preserving as long as we have not fulfilled our destiny. Our life assignment may pose a threat to our earthly existence, in as much as that is why we are made; we have no option than to embrace it.
For Jeremiah, he has been seduced by God. He could not help it since it is God who commissioned him to speak out his mind to his people.
“O Lord, you have deceived me and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed……for the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” Jer 20:7-9
Moreover, when we consider and relish the sweet things of the world, the sting of death becomes powerful. Our ability to hold on to our life baton amidst the inconveniences of our mission is hinged on our capacity to discern our rightful place in the scheme of God’s plan for the world.
We are all called to have the mind of God. Our whole being should be used to the greater glory of God. Our real beauty comes from within. Paul writes succinctly, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom 12:2
Above all, with the cross in view, Jesus announced the end of his earthly existence. He announced to his disciples what he would suffer and his death on the cross. He would willingly embrace all these, because those are the reasons for which he came. He rebuked Peter when he wanted to discourage him. “Get behind me Satan,” He said. [Matthew 16:23]
It is not all who talk us into the soft sides of life that want the best for us. We should not be discouraged from embracing the crosses that will lead us into achieving God’s merciful designs. Victory over life’s battles is not a product of ‘chicken-heartedness’.
Let us bravely face our life huddles. The victory is sure. We must know that on the path of every journey we make with God, every pain is gain. The Lord said in today’s gospel,
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, and who ever loses his life for my sake will find it…….for the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.” Matthew 16:27
May our mind be remade, and our heart nature transformed, that we may know what is the will of God, good and acceptable and perfect. Amen.