22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sept. 3, 2023. (Jer. 20:7–9; Rom 12:1–2; Mt 16:21–27)
“…there could be no victory and no glory without the cross. Yes, No Cross. No Crown!”
What is the way to glory and victory in the kingdom of God? Jesus told his
disciples that he must first suffer rejection, be crucified, and then rise again on
the third day. In so many words he explained that there could be no victory and
no glory without the cross. Yes, “NO CROSS, NO CROWN”!
Jesus'; prediction caused his disciples great dismay and disbelief. That is why
Peter, (primus inter pares), who wanted to protect Jesus from any threat or harm,
rebuked the very thought of Jesus having to face rejection, condemnation, and
Life Message: Now, after calling him “Rock”, why did Jesus use the word satan;
when he addressed Peter in this instance? The word satan literally means
adversary: - one who stands in opposition. Hence, Jesus reminds Peter that his
role is not to be an adversary but a disciple - one who gets behind his Master to
follow with trust and obedience. Yes, “NO CROSS, NO CROWN”!
Jesus knew that the cross was the only way he could ransom us from slavery to
sin with the price of his blood which was shed for our freedom. Jesus told his
disciples that they, too, must be willing to lay down their lives in order to gain
new everlasting life with the Father in his kingdom. This means, we lose what we
gain, and we gain what we lose. Better still, when we try to run our life our own
way, we end up losing it to futility. Only God can free us from our ignorant and
sinful ways. Indeed, “NO CROSS, NO CROWN”!
Conclusion: Therefore, when we surrender our lives to God, he gives us new life
in his Spirit and the pledge of eternal life. In a nutshell, God wants us to be
spiritually fit and ready to do his will at all times. Because, when the human body
is very weak or ill, we make every effort to nurse it back to health. How much
more effort and attention should we give to the spiritual health of our hearts and
minds! A true disciple gladly gives up all that he or she has in exchange for an
unending life of joy and happiness with God. God gives without measure. Are you
ready to lose all for Jesus Christ to gain all, with Jesus Christ? Indeed, “NO CROSS, NO CROWN"!