By Fr. Andrew Kelly
24TH SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – SEPT. 16
On Sunday Jesus will ask the gathered community what Jesus asked the disciples in Sunday’s Gospel: “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter professed his faith: “You are the Messiah.” The community professes: “I believe … in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord …”
Jesus demands silence: “And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.”
To believe in and follow the real Jesus of the Gospel means the cross has to be embraced as Jesus embraced the cross. Peter did not like that and rebuked Jesus.
Jesus rebuked Peter (and maybe also the community): “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
If the cross of total self-surrender and self-abandonment is not the center of the community life, agenda and mission, then the community, like Peter, does not know who Jesus really is.
There is an ancient saying once attributed to Jesus: “He who is near me is near fire; he who is far from me is far from the kingdom.”
If the fire of the cross is not consuming the community, the community, like Peter, is far from the Jesus of the Gospel.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Sept. 16-23
1 Cor 11:17-26, 33
1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31a
1 Cor 12:31-13:13
1 Cor 15:1-11
Eph 4:1-7, 11-13
1 Cor 15:35-37, 42-49
Wis 2:12, 17-20