Saint Matthew 16:21-28
Semicontinuous Reading and Psalm:
Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b
Prayer of the Day:
O God, we thank you for your Son, who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world. Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
16.21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
27 “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
St. Matthew 16:21-28, New Revised Version Bible (C)1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Cross to Bear
Common wisdom asserts that we “all have crosses to bear.” Poor health. A cruel boss. Disobedient children. A snoring spouse. Bad luck. We claim these crosses as a way of deflecting the challenges in our lives. “I’m so sorry to hear that.” “Oh well, I guess that’s just my cross to bear.” The notion is that life can be unfair, some aspects of living are just plain miserable, and since there isn’t much we can do about it anyway we just suffer through it, trying not to complain too much.
Let’s be clear: this is not what Jesus is saying in this week’s Gospel lesson. (more…)