Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Get behind me Satan.” There are harsh words being spoken by Jesus to Peter this weekend, who is one of His beloved friends. If we think about it, we can be like Peter. It is no different than telling a friend, this should be easier for you, or you don’t have to make this so difficult. Peter just wanted to make things better for his friend. Sometimes doing the hard thing is what we need to do, even when we don’t want to. Jesus says that we are to take up our cross and follow Him. But what would that look like today? What does it mean to deny yourself? I think of our society and culture today. There are numerous problems in our world and many times we are quiet or look the other way. When we pray for those who are suffering, in pain, or persecuted, do we fully understand and stand in solidarity with them? It is easy to protect ourselves and stay in a place of numbness, safety, or apathy given the myriad of issues that plague our world today. What is one thing that you can do this week to focus on our world’s pain and suffering? Do we even see those who are suffering around us? Jesus is calling us to not take the easy path, as Peter suggests, but rather acknowledge our privilege and do what is right to help those around us. What will be your first step?