September 3 – Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Click here for a link to the Sunday readings: Sept. 3, 2017 (usccb.org)

Sample Commentary on Matthew 16:21-27

What’s a Messiah? 

Last Sunday Jesus told his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah (16:20). Today we learn why. The disciples expect things from the Messiah that don’t match what Jesus has come to do. Jews at that time expected many things from the Messiah. Despite a range of beliefs, no one thought the Messiah would suffer, much less be shamefully and brutally killed.

Although Jesus accepted the title of Messiah, he changed its meaning to include rejection, shame, and hardship. Jesus probably preferred the title Son of Man because it carried fewer pre-conceptions.

Rock turned stumbling block

Jesus called Peter the rock on which he would build the church (16:18). Now this rock is a stumbling block, an obstacle that could trip Jesus up. After calling Jesus Messiah and Son of the living God, Peter rejects the meaning Jesus gives these titles.

Jesus calls Peter Satan. Right before Jesus began his public ministry, Satan tried to lure him down a different path (4:1f.). Now one of Jesus’ closest followers unwittingly tempts Jesus.

Want more? To download discussion questions and commentaries on the first reading and the Gospel click here: Sept. 3 – Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

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