HOMILY: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
1st Reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9
2nd Reading: Romans 12:1-2
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 63
Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27
Theme: When God Breaks Your Heart
Is your heart broken? Have you suffered a loss? Has someone you love disappointed you? Suffering is an inescapable factor in life. The injustice of sudden illness or death, the pain of loss and the anger at unwanted change all bring us suffering. We often turn to God in our brokenness but what happens when God Himself breaks our hearts?
Explanation of the Text
In our first reading taking from the Prophet Jeremiah, we hear the Prophet accusing God of swindling him. This is because he initially objected to the call but in Jer 1: 8, God assured him that “I am with you” . Yet it seems God had abandoned him and allowed him to suffer persecutions from the hands of his own people. The prophet’s heart is broken by God and this is made manifest in his lamentations.
Beloved it’s a paradox: God knows suffering and death will break our hearts- but He also knows our hearts need to be “broken” in order to save our souls. There’s one thing that the prophet said which worths reflecting that even in his suffering and thinking of abandonment by God there’s still some inner yearning for this very God.
In our Gospel reading Jesus predicts His impending suffering that will culminate in His death and resurrection. But Peter representing the mindset of humanity about suffering, forbade Jesus in talking of His suffering. The point is simple and understandable. Every sufferer looks longingly to Christ for solution and so if Christ Himself is going to suffer then who is safe? (Remember in Mtt.14:30 when Peter was drowning he called out Jesus to save him).
Jesus rebuked Peter for being a stumbling block in His way because the only way He can reclaim His glory is by mounting the wood of the cross. Jesus was in fact telling them “no pain, no gain”. Without suffering there will be no glory. Beloved our suffering in this life only makes sense when it is linked to the suffering of Christ. You will always find comfort during difficulty times, be inspired to ask for the impossible and discover a God whose heart breaks with yours.
Remember nothing last forever not even our sufferings ( 2Cor 4:17)..