Twenty Second Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A
August 30, 2020
We know that at our Baptism we were called by name by God to be, among other things, a prophet, one who makes God present in the world.
Every time when we encounter a difficult life situation, whether that is health problems, financial problems, relationship difficulties, times of worry, God is asking us, what does it mean to be prophet, to make God present in the world.
Jeremiah was a youngster, when called by God to be a prophet. He loved his country men and his country. His temperament was thought to be peaceful, sensitive, and gentle, and he was to make God present to the people.
In the first reading we hear Jeremiah complaining, that God has deceived him, because his being a prophet was not easy.
His people, whom Jeremiah loved, hated him, thought him to be a traitor, and wanted to kill him because of what he had to say.
But Jeremiah knew that he was called to make God present. Jeremiah was discovering what it meant to be prophet.
Well, you and I know that we too were called by God to be a prophet when we were baptized.
And certainly at times, we may think that, the calling would be easy. But many times, quite the opposite is or has been true.
In the second reading, St. Paul addresses the pagan Romans, who had accepted Christianity, who had recognized their call in Baptism to be prophet.
They had accepted and believed that God called them to make him present in the world, and that at times, making God present was not easy.
They were faced with rejection, persecution, and even physical death. That was how they were to make God present in the world. This can be even more clearly realized in the words of Jesus in the Gospel.
Right after Peter has stated that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, came a real shocker.
Jesus, whom they thought would solve all the problems, would be a political leader, was destroyed.
Jesus was to die, to be killed. Peter cannot believe what he heard.
How about us? When we hear that we will be killed (more psychologically than physically), be rejected, be persecuted, be faced with difficulties, how do we react?
During the difficult times, it so easy to forget the call of our Baptism to be phophet in the world today.
We can become like Jeremiah and think that God has tricked us. Did we think that being a Christian, a prophet, would not be a struggle?
Jesus told Peter and also each of us in our doubts, that we must pray to be able to take up our cross, our persecutions, our disappointments, our health problems, our rejections, and follow the Lord.
At times we will have to let go of our own ideas of how God will work in us.
That is a part of our journey to eternal life.
Jeremiah knew that he had been called by God; he remained faithful to his calling.
We need to continue to pray for conversion, so that in the next difficult situation, we can loose our lives.