22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 16:21-27. Jesus begins today’s gospel teaching them how “He must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Peter is stunned and is caught up in his grief, rather than understanding and being open to the whole mystery of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. It is only through the Passion that He will save us. The same mystery in our lives comes to us always, especially when we lose those whom we love and most especially when we experience our own death and dying.
This week we celebrated the feasts of Saints Monica and Augustine. Everything that we are taught about Saint Monica comes from Augustine’s writings and confessions. Her impending death is most difficult for Augustine, but it is precisely where she teaches him to surrender to the mercy of the Lord. We hear this in our prayers at Mass for the dead, “Remember your servant (insert loved one’s name) whom you have called from this world to yourself. Grant that he/she who was united with your Son in a death like His, may also be one with Him in His Resurrection.”
When Monica is preparing her son for her death, she imitates what we hear in the Gospel. Augustine says that their holy conversation lifted both mother and son “beyond the things of earth even to the enjoyment of the things of heaven.” St. Monica continues, “Son, for myself, I have no longer any pleasure in anything in this life. What I want here further, and why I am here, I know not, now that my hopes in this world are satisfied. There was indeed one thing for which I wished to tarry a little in this life, and that was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. My God has exceeded this abundantly, so that I see you despising all earthly felicity, made His servant—what do I here?” (Confessions IX, 10) This is the part Peter is missing and in which he will later long for. Peter, like us needs the gift of baptism and the Holy Spirit to understand and to surrender. . .to read full message . . .
►Use this LINK for info on Family Faith Formation which will serve our entire Parish including the Religious Education of Children & Teens & for Pre-Registration for First Communion & Confirmation Candidates.