22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:21-27

According to Father William Bausch, there are three types of crosses in Christianity: 1. The cross of inconvenience 2. The cross of witness 3. The cross of martyrdom. The cross of inconvenience are those things we do for the good of others that do not necessarily benefit us corporeally but rather bring us some discomfort. You carry the cross of inconvenience when you care for the sick, pray for others, help the poor and the needy, leaving your comfort zone to provide relief for those who suffer, etc. It is summarised in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The cross of witness is the pain we pass through in living the faith; bearing witness under the allurements of the world and seductions of the age. It is remaining pure in an impure world, being strong in a morally debased society. It is thinking differently and acting differently from the world. It is non conformity to the ways of the world as St. Paul tells the Romans in the second reading: “Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” The third is the cross of martyrdom. Fr. John Pichapilly explains two types of martyrdom as wet and dry martyrdom. Wet martyrdom literally means shedding blood for Christ, like John the Baptist we just celebrated few days ago, all the apostles experienced wet martyrdom except John the beloved. Dry martyrdom has to do with giving up of your rights and privileges, security, titles, and more for Christ. Every state of life has a unique cross. God has a purpose for the cross we bear.

Is your cross too heavy? How do we deal with suffering as Christians? We must see our suffering in the light of Christ’s suffering. Christ did not suffer in vain, our suffering shall not be in vain if we unite it to that of Christ. Every child of God must encounter some difficulty at some point in life walking along the cross-road. But if we remain strong and allow His way over our way, it must surely end in praise!

MASS: GREEN TWENTY –SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR(A) Jer 20:7-9; Ps 63:2.3-4.5-6.8-9(R.2ab); Rom 12:1-2; Accl Eph 1:17-18; Gospel Mt 16:21-27

Prayer Points:

1.         O my God, I thank You for this cross you have allowed me to carry (mention). Please give me the strength and faith to persevere so that I may bring glory to you. Thank You also for every “Simon” that You have sent to help me bear this cross. Change my heart’s troubled cry of –“How long, O Lord”, into words of trust: “However long, O Lord”. By your grace, may I carry it all the way to the vision of your glory. I abandon myself totally to your will. Christ Jesus, I trust in You. Amen

2.         Thank You for offering me a share in your suffering.

Exercise: Encourage someone today as you help in lifting his or her cross.

Meditation: Mark 15:39