Jeremiah 20:7-9; Ps 63:2,6, 8-9; Romans 12:1-2; Mt 16:21-27
Come Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds to know God’s will for us and set us on fire to take our part.
The Sunday gospels usually follow in order. Early in chapter 16 Jesus confronted the Pharisees and Sadducees about their “fake news” teaching. Jesus then left them abruptly.
After disembarking at the other side of the lake, Jesus asked his disciples who people said that he was. Inspired by God, our Father, Peter answered that Jesus was “The Son of the living God!”
I have found through reflection and experience that we come to know Jesus and his mission personally by reading what the gospels tell us, and the graces of Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus has been healing thousands, teaching, feeding thousands and walking on water. Now St. Matthew makes a dramatic change in the mission story beginning with verse 21. Jesus tells them that he must go to Jerusalem and there be handed over to the Jewish establishment, be put to death and rise on the third day. Peter and the others were greatly upset. Things had been going rather well and they thought they would have nice positions in the “new Israel.” Jesus announcement was shocking.
Jesus told them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Now where do we fit if we want to be in Jesus’ kingdom? Look at the world around us and now North Korea. I wonder why God can’t just remove these antichrists from the world.
What can we do?
I was just reading President Trump’s new option with Japan and South Korea to go the Security Council of the UN and call for a total blockade of all oil to North Korea. If North Korea is not stopped they could destroy our country with an electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) that would disable all of our electrical grids that run most things in our country. Those who would survive would be back in the “dark ages.” This threat is not only from North Korea but also from China, Iran and Russia.
What is the most effective thing we all can do? What the Blessed Mother has been saving at Fatima, Lourdes and Medjugorje. Pray, pray, pray! Our prayer could be attending more daily Masses, pray more rosaries, more Chaplets of Divine Mercy and reading the New Testament each day.
Pray like our house is on fire
With all the changes in weather and destructive storms, is God trying to call us back to him with repentance and conversion to the principals of his kingdom? I think so. The Romans reading (12:1ff) today says to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. “Do not conform yourselves to this age, the kingdom of satan, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Amen, alleluia! If we don’t pray like our house is on fire, it may well be and not too far away.
I normally don’t go into these worldly things because we don’t want to be confronted with those things. Yet “the writing is on the wall.” Like Daniel” to the king of Babylon in Daniel 5:15. Today we need some prophets to shout the message, repent and turn to the Lord and be saved.
Please join the saints on earth to stand for God’s kingdom and pray, pray, pray. In this way we have the most effective way to stand against the present darkness. Be protected and blessed with
Peace and all good,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2017 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)