Stumbling block

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles September 03,2017
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Stumbling block

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles September 03,2017
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Sunday, Sept 3, 2017 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9 2nd Reading: Romans 12:1-2Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27

Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem; he would suffer many things from the Jewish authorities, the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. He would be killed and be raised on the third day.

Then Peter took him aside and began to reproach him, “Never, Lord! No, this must never happen to you.” But Jesus turned to him and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You would have me stumble. You are thinking not as God does, but as people do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. For whoever chooses to save his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life for my sake will find it. What will one gain by winning the whole world if he destroys himself? There is nothing you can give to recover your own self.

“Know that the Son of Man will come in the Glory of his Father with the holy angels, and he will reward each one according to his deeds.”

(Daily Gospel in the
Life Experience)

A parish priest was shocked to know that a seminarian assigned for summer apostolate in his parish lambasted his practice of assigning special seats to parish benefactors during fiestas. The seminarian did this during his talk to the Legion of Mary. The seminarian said: “If we are all equal in the eyes of God should rich people deserve special seats just because they have contributed something more to Church?”

Parish priests give special seats to benefactors not to set the poor aside. As representative of the people in the parish, he has the duty to bring the gratitude of the parishioners to those who have done good things to the parish. Thus, by assigning benefactors special seats, it is the whole parish showing gratitude to them as patrons.

Peter too protested about the ways of Jesus’ attitude towards sufferings. He may have been sincere in rushing to his Master’s defense when he said, “No, this must never happen to you.” But in his zeal, he became a stumbling block to the divine plan. The word “Satan” means stumbling block. Earlier Jesus called him a rock. O, what a formidable stumbling block he was! When Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan”, it was a warning to him that his being rock was not on account of his strength but of his discipleship.

Discipleship, in its essence, is communion with Jesus. Peter was not in communion with Jesus in his anguish over the impending passion. The seminarian was not in communion with his parish priest when he criticized the arrangement he made for the benefactors.
– (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM.

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