August 30, 2020
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time A
Fr. Ed Smith
Jeremiah 20:7-9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27
Today’s question: What are the requirements of being a faithful disciple of Jesus? This seems to have been in the minds of Christians from the earliest days of the Church. Certainly, there have many responses to this over the centuries, but it is best to go back to the source: Jesus. What does HE say about being His disciple? He boils it down to three basic commands: “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me”. This is clear, concise, and memorable. However, there is still the question of HOW to put these commands into practice. How do we follow these orders? How do we make them real in our lives? How do we embrace them with a full heart? Let’s look at some possible ways to make them our own. First: we deny making ourselves the center of the universe; then we can grow in humility so that God can touch our hearts and make us vessels of His love. Second: we take up our cross, willing to accept what God has given us in life, learning from our suffering and loss, and becoming stronger in our faith through this. Third: we follow Jesus, which means we do not set our own agenda and expect Him to change for us, but rather that we trust in His wisdom and love enough that we will go where He leads us. In the end, it comes down to living out our vocation as Christians who believe, trust and act as people of faith, hope and love. In this way, we will be following the commands of Christ, and also experience a life of joy and peace. Once again, Jesus shows us that He is a superb teacher, and gives us a much more profound answer to our question than we ever requested!