22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
•September 3, 2023
Gospel Bullet Points (Matthew 16:21-27)
- Popular Jewish belief in the time of Jesus expected a Messiah who would bring instant glory to Israel in terms of military success, wealth, and prosperity. The disciples shared this belief. So when Peter heard the Lord announce that he must first endure the cross, he figured that Jesus made a mistake. “So he took Jesus aside and rebuked him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord. This must not happen to you (22). Peter can’t accept the idea that the Messiah will be humiliated. Quite the contrary, he will humiliate all the enemies of Israel.
- Peter was asking the Lord to abandon the hard way of the Messiah for the easy way of the world (no cross, no crown to all crown no cross).
- Although the Lord called Peter the Rock earlier in the Gospel (last Sunday’s gospel, He now looks at Peter and says to him, “Get behind me, Satan!”
- Jesus summarizes Peter’s whole problem in one sentence: You are not by God’s standard but by man’s: Man’s standard: be comfortable, seek security, and enjoy life (all crown/no cross). Christ’s standard: endure the cross first (no cross / no crown)
- Today’s gospel challenges us to say NO to the very attractive but one-sided worldly gospel of the INSTANT GLORY – the false gospel that offers the false promise of NO CROSS ALL CROWN