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DUPED: Paschal Mystery and Discipleship

Posted on Sep 01, 2017

22nd Week in Ordinary Time
September 27 RCIA Session

 

SUNDAY'S READINGS
Jeremiah 20:7-9
Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
Romans 12:1-2
Matthew 16:21-27

"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."   -cf. Matthew 16:21-27

SCHEDULE:  Youth and Children begin in RCIA with their Parents this Thursday!

  • Adults who wish to know about Catholic faith - or who wish to complete their sacraments of initiation - meet every Thursday from 7:00-9:00 pm.  English speaking adults meet in the Holy Family Room.
  • Children/youth who need baptism or the sacraments of initiation will begin with their parents this Thursday, Sept 7.  Each entire family, parents, children and teens, should begin in the Cafeteria at 7:00 pm.

 

PRACTICE THE FAITH:  The "OBEDIENCE" of Faith

  • Read Chapter 8 of the USCCA.   
  • What is the "paschal mystery"?  How did God show the depths of His love for us?  Why are the Cross and the Resurrection bound together in the Paschal Mystery? 

 

REFLECTION:  Deny self, take up cross, FOLLOW ME

What is your own experience of a "cross " - something that is inevitable, difficult, causes inexpressible suffering and yet is paradoxically the source of life itself?

In the first reading this week the prophet Jeremiah knows hatred and persecution.  Because he speaks the word of God, others wish to take his life.  However, when Jeremiah pledges to himself that he will speak for God no more, the words burn inside him until he can no longer keep them in.  It is a "lose" if he speaks and a "lose" if he does not speak - like a two edged sword that cuts both ways.  In the end, he is compelled to be the prophet of God.

"I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak his name no more.  But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it."   -cf. Jeremiah 20:7-9

What Jeremiah carries is his CROSS.   He loves the word of God, but hates the suffering and death it brings him.  Yet, in the end, he chooses God; despite the death this will bring, it offers him a life that he desires more, a life in which he is completely satisfied.   In the Catechism the Paschal Mystery is explained this way...

"In a number of ways, Jesus warned his followers that pain and death would be an essential part of his mission.  Right after he made Peter the rock on which the Church would be built, he predicted his Passion.   ...Not only would Jesus accept the Cross, he expected the same willingness from his disciples.  'If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross DAILY and follow me.' (Luke 9:23)  Jesus explained this truth further by means of an agricultural image.  'Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat, but if it dies it produces much fruit.'  (John 12:24)  Jesus noted that the greatest expression of love is to die for the beloved...."   -page 91 USCCA

If we are truly following in the footsteps of Jesus, we should not be surprised if it makes us unpopular, unsuccessful, even hated.  We might face danger and persecution.  We would stand up against distraction and mediocrity, brave and single-minded in a mission of love.  If we experience no pain or division, we can rightly suspect our "following" of Jesus.  But if we never emerge to a place of peace, even in pain and suffering, we might also suspect our "following" of Jesus.  Like the seed that dies, when we accept our lives from the hand of God and want only to do his will, we might indeed be denying our selves and losing our life - but we are reborn as a new creation.  In this new life, we find a peace and a joy that we can find no where else on earth: we are born into a life that is in God and that is eternal - and we are the person we were created to be.

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