Sunday, August 31, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, August 31, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Jeremiah 20:7-9
You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I must cry out, violence and outrage is my message; the word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day. I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.
P S A L M - Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
R: My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
1 [2] O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. (R) 2 [3] Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, 3 [4] for your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you. (R) 4 [5] Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name. 5 [6] As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. (R) 7 [8] You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. 8 [9] My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me. (R)
2ND READING - Romans 12:1-2
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call.
Matthew 16:21-27
21 Jesus began to show his disciples that 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. 22 Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” 23 He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”


It is scary to think that one can be totally successful by the standards of the world and yet fail to enter the Kingdom of God. The only way to prevent this from happening is to ensure that in every decision we make, we remember that we live in the world but we are not of the world. This is most evident in how we pay attention to advertising. Is there an advertisement that tells us to delay our earthly pleasures for the sake of better ones in the Kingdom of God? In fact, we are more likely see exactly the opposite: Get it while you can for it may not be here tomorrow!

       This “get it while you can” attitude is totally antithetical to the values of the Kingdom of God, which are always forward-looking and have eternal life as the motivation to guide us in the here and now. Jesus reminds us that it is useless to gain the whole world (now) and lose eternal life (future). We need to find the right balance between pursuing the things of the world and looking forward to receiving the promises of eternal life.

       It is not easy to find this balance as the world can be very insistent on its agenda. Advertising companies spend a lot of time and millions of dollars to try and obscure this goal and keep you from lifting your eyes from the ways of the world to those of heaven. This is why we need to be men and women of prayer and Scriptures. It is Scriptures that will form our hearts and minds in line with God’s standards and help us keep the advertising world’s agenda at arm’s length and in its proper place. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How does advertising affect you? Do you tend to slip into the trap of focusing on worldly things rather than storing up for yourself treasures in heaven?
Holy Spirit, help me to embrace the life I am called to as a disciple of Jesus. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on the things that really matter as I go about my life in this world.

Sts. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, pray for us.

Do you want to receive this in your email. To get Bo Sanchez to send it to you personally, register and log-on to

No comments: