Bulletin: August 30, 2020
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
We are invited to reflect on the path of discipleship offered by Jesus in our readings today. Jesus, now seen by the disciples as Messiah and Christ, begins to describe most fully what this means: he will not march into Jerusalem filled with God’s power like a conquering general. His path is like that of Jeremiah; he will be rejected and mocked. His path is like that described by Paul, offering his body as a living sacrifice. Jesus summons his followers down the same path of death and resurrection, to live the radical paradox that “whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Loving and trusting God will entail self-surrender, leading us to joy in service to others. We will learn to let go of what we desire and what we think we need, trusting God to provide what we truly need.
It seems that Jesus is pretty hard on Peter in today’s Gospel, when he calls him “Satan” for questioning Jesus’ prediction of his passion. The scene echoes Matthew’s story of the temptations of Jesus (4:1–11) when Jesus encounters Satan, also called the “tempter.” Satan had sought to draw Jesus into thinking about his own needs instead of attending to God’s purposes. Peter was an unwitting tempter, anxiously reacting out of his own fears and misunderstanding.