OUR LIVING SACRIFICE
Our readings tell us today that whoever wishes to follow Jesus must deny themselves – they must lose themselves – they must offer themselves as a living sacrifice.
Such sacrificial language is at the heart of our faith – and it sounds nice – but when it happens to us – when we are truly sacrificed and suffering – I think most of us feel like Jeremiah in our first reading: we feel duped – like God confused us with somebody else because. . . . this was not what we had in mind.
We question, like Jeremiah questioned: How could God, who claims to love me, allow for such violence against my heart and soul? And like Jeremiah, perhaps we want to turn and run away from God and all concerned with religion, but the void it leaves burns like a fire in our heart.
And so we ask ourselves why it is necessary that we deny ourselves in order to follow Christ? Why must we suffer as Christ suffered? Does God really demand that we make a sacrifice to win our salvation?
CLICK HERE for the readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jeremiah 20:7-9; Psalm 63, Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27).