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Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Isaiah 50:4c-9a
Resp.: Psalm 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9 (9) 2nd Reading: James 2:14-18
Gospel: Mark 8:27-35
In today's readings, Jesus is helping us to understand that we live in this world to determine where we will live for eternity. We must follow Jesus as we know, all the way to the Cross. This means that life on earth will be fraught with trials and adversity and unfortunately tragedy for some.
We also can have a tendency to want to make our lives on earth a type of utopia. It's not that we should try to make things bad for ourselves but we do have the examples of the saints who not only accepted their trials but even sought out times to suffer for God and for the sake of His Kingdom.
This really goes against the grain. The world tells us to vacation, have a good time, etc., to excess. We are entitled to vacations, sure, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying life as long as this does not involve sin. But Jesus reminds his disciples that he came into this world to die. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ but doesn't like that Jesus will suffer greatly and die. Peter had to be corrected. No one of us can change the fact that to follow Jesus means that we will suffer for being good as He did. But we too will rise at the end if we lose our lives for the sake of the Gospel.
Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD