September 3, Sunday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
Sunday Readings: First reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9; Second reading: Romans 12:1-2; Gospel: Matthew 16:21–27
Man is selfless by nature. But the course of human evolution made him selfish for his own survival.
In today’s gospel, Jesus foretells his crucifixion and death. Peter, his close associate, rebukes Jesus and advises him not to undergo passion and death. Jesus very strongly says to him, Go behind Satan. Peter says this out of selfishness. He doesn’t want to lose Jesus because it will affect his well-being. So only Jesus says he is a stumbling block for Jesus. He sets his mind not on divine things but on human things.
Here we find Jesus and Peter, symbolizing two forms of society. Jesus stands for a society that is selfless in all its forms. Peter stands for a selfish society.
In today’s first reading, we find the lamentation of Jeremiah. He is a selfless man who thinks of the well-being of society. On the other hand, a very selfish society punishes Jeremiah for always being selfless. The mistake that Jeremiah made in his life was nothing but pointing out the crimes of society. He also wants to be selfish by not being a prophet who condemns evil, but he is not able to be selfish.
That is the quality Jesus expects from us as his real followers. To be his followers, we need to be selfless by denying ourselves and working for society by carrying the cross. Selfishness is a kind of Satan that spoils our very original nature of selflessness.
Let us set our minds on divine things by being selfless. Let’s keep Satan behind us and not with us.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.