Gospel Meditation

August 30, 2020
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Secular pursuits only bring a temporary amount of satisfaction and fulfillment. As much as we may think that achieving worldly success, economic security, personal well-being, and self-fulfillment are worthy goals to obtain, they all are dependent on external variables and can lead to emptiness. We are trained to be very pragmatic and productive. Unless we are able to check off all of the boxes or comply with specific measurable requirements, our value and worth becomes questionable. Corporations, educational institutions, systems, structures, and secular ideology rarely consider deeper, more spiritual, and human contributions a person can and needs to make.

To the secular mind, the wisdom and ideals of the Gospel are making less and less sense. Consider for a moment this question: “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” While Jesus is asking this very challenging question to people who are considering his message, many in our world are in a quite different place. Whether we realize it, many folks are asking a much different question. Why would you not want to gain the whole world and secure your life? If you look at where a lot of folks are investing their time, energy, and resources, it becomes obvious where current priorities rest.

Modern day comforts and possibilities are backing us out of our relationship with God. The fire burning in every human heart is trying to find its satisfaction in the things that humans have created and not God. Being altruistic and offering compassion for those most in need becomes a political responsibility or responsible gesture. We realize that our hearts need to be centered on something and someone who calls us out of ourselves, but we struggle and battle with naming the source of that call. God places the desire to seek, find, and love Him in the core of every soul. We are not abandoned and left to fend for ourselves. But we can easily get confused. We know that when we extend ourselves to another self-sacrificially, we are doing what is just and right. We know that we can work through suffering and loss and come out better and more whole on the other side.

Our minds need to be renewed so that they can begin to understand that there is much more to who we are, and that faith plays a pivotal role in achieving our true and everlasting goals. It is when we see that it is only faith that can bring us to this heightened awareness of ourselves and God that it will begin to make sense. Then, we can put things in proper perspective and consider being a disciple.



30 de agosto de 2020
22º Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Este domingo, Pedro es de nuevo el protagonista para dar respuesta a Jesús. Sin embargo, esta vez su respuesta no es acertada. Es decir, el Padre del cielo no le revela la respuesta. En su amor por el Maestro, Pedro siente que es su deber no dejar que Jesús suba a Jerusalén y sufra. En este diálogo entre ellos debemos observar dos cosas. En la respuesta del domingo pasado se dio revelación divina. Venía de Dios. Cuando las cosas vienen de Dios existe un proceso de discernimiento en la persona. En la segunda respuesta, Pedro se dejó llevar por emociones personales. Querer alejar la cruz, situación inevitable para Jesús.

Jesús anuncia su Pasión y la cruz tiene un papel protagónico. La cruz es el camino seguro hacia el Viernes Santo, para Jesús y para cada uno de nosotros. Este Evangelio nos llama a morir a muchas cruces que cargamos en la vida sin sentido. Usted quizá se pregunta. ¿Cuáles cruces? Pues, nada más y nada menos que al egoísmo, falta de caridad, de fidelidad y flojera para hacer cosas buenas por los demás. Jesús, dice en el Evangelio. “El que quiera seguirme, que renuncie a sí mismo, cargue con su cruz y me siga”. (Mateo 16:24). ¿De qué sirve trabajar tanto y acumular cosas materiales si al final perdemos el cielo? Ya sabemos lo que dijo el Papa Francisco: “Nunca vi un camión de mudanza detrás de un cortejo fúnebre”. El sufrimiento, nunca es querido por nadie, pero, puede significar caminar en nuestro interior y encontrar su misterio para dar frutos como los santos que gastaron su vida al servicio del Reino.