Wed, 26 Aug 20 Lectio Divina - Year A
Jeremiah was sent by God “to tear up and knockdown, to destroy and overthrow”. He was a man of peace and gentle nature, but he was constantly in war with his own people because his words were always a burden for the people and his prophesies were delayed in fulfilling. He felt his mission is constantly torture for his soul. He had to foretell the dire consequences of their revolt against the power of Babylon. In today’s first reading we hear Jeremiah expressing his internal anguish. He was very reluctant to say to the people God’s plan for them, but he was compelled by God to say it.
Because of his internal struggles and rejection from the people, he is considered as the most closely resembled prophet to Jesus Christ. The prophet loved his country and fellow citizens but he had to foretell the consequences of their worldliness and the people hated him, they went against Jeremiah and finally to the destruction of Jerusalem and slavery.
Christ too loved his country and the people. Christ aimed to bring the people into the new kingdom. However, they were more interested in the world and its pleasures. They refused to see the Messiah in him and they rejected his message as not being from God, mocked, insulted him, and rewarded him with a cruel and shameful death. Like Jeremiah who was faithful to God’s mission, Like Jesus our Lord who was faithful and obedient to the Father irrespective of all sufferings, pain and death we too are called to be faithful to our Christian calling even when we are mocked, insulted, and awarded death for awaiting happiness with the Father in heaven.
Rom 12; 1-2
St. Paul tells us how we are to show gratitude to God. He tells us we must live our lives as true Christians that is our daily lives must n to the will God. The first and foremost motive of all our actions must ever be the honour and glory of God. When we do this our lives are living sacrifices, we are offering ourselves daily to our God. We Christians are called to live only this life that always and everywhere give glory and honour to God that accompanies sacrifices of one’s own self-interest and give first place to God and His ways.
Mat 16: 21-27
By taking the form of man, he made himself equal to us in all things except sin, the Son of God joined our human nature to the divine and so made us his brethren, and as adopted children of the Father. His died because he was God and as well, as man, was a sacrifice, an atonement of infinite value, and therefore obtained forgiveness from the Father for all the sins of the human race.
In foretelling his sufferings and death, Jesus intended to prepare his disciples and other followers for what he knew would be for them a severe crisis of faith. This foretelling was also an occasion to remind his disciples and others who would follow him in the future what their attitude should be in the face of suffering and even death. This passage asks all the Christians that aided by God’s grace we would all be ready to imitate thousands of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their fidelity to Christ. But at the moment what Jesus expects and asks of us that we should bear the sufferings and hardships of daily life cheerfully and gladly for his sake. Especially at present the world and each of us in great difficulties due to the pandemic Covid-19. We hear and experience poverty, ill health, hard-heartedness and death everywhere. These challenging situations, difficulties and struggles are also our daily crosses and we should carry it with faith. We should consider this life as a period of training, which makes us ready to receive the eternal reward, which Christ has won for us.