August 31, 2008, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“If you wish to come after me, you must deny your very self, take up your cross and begin to follow in my footsteps.” Mat 16:24

l. Jer 20:7-9
2. Rom 12:1-2
3. Gospel Mat. 16:21-27

REFLECTION: These sentiments make us squirm with discomfort and we start thinking, “Well, he doesn’t mean me.” Discomfort, things not being O.K., not running smoothly, even falling apart, all point to the cross of which Jesus speaks, but they are not the cross. When Jesus says, “Take up your cross”, he is saying, “Accept the changes that come along in life." Don’t fight them off. Don’t resist them. There is another side to the cross, the need we sometimes have to make changes. Certain changes come our way naturally. Others require that we take the initiative. Accepting changes is hard. Making them is even harder. Unite the sufferings of change to those of Christ and make them redemptive for all.

Lord Jesus, you overcame the greatest of all obstacles, sin and death. By your resurrection you proved to us and to the world that there is no such thing as real failure-just new opportunities. Help us to grow through our failures, and let them become new sources of life and hope. Amen


At a family meal ask one or two members to tell a story of how they used a failure as an opportunity.

Make one change in your family which would make it a happier and more peaceful environment.

If you have a cross or crucifix in the house mention it to some family members. If you don’t have one, get one and place it in the home as a reminder of change as a cross to bear.

As a family, pray the third sorrowful mystery of the Rosary, Jesus Carries His Cross. Pray it for all those who suffer.

Give a donation of time, talent or money to a group that helps the poor deal with the crosses they carry.

Reflect on how each member of your family responds, reacts to illness.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you have called us into the family of your church that we might bear one another’s burdens. Show us who needs our help and how best to help them. And when we ourselves are in need, show us your loving care through the care of others. For this is the way we come to believe in You more and more. Amen.

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