If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself.

A quick glance at last week’s Gospel reveals the interesting development of the story: last week, we heard Peter proclaiming that Jesus was the Messiah, and being given authority as a result. This week, Peter gets it wrong: he is rebuked by the Lord because he does not understand who the Messiah is. The Messiah is the one who will give everything for his people – even his own life. To be a follower of Jesus demands an understanding and acceptance of this fact, and a willingness to take up the cross as Jesus did. Our introduction to this is the prophet Jeremiah – also persecuted for doing and saying what was right. Have a look at the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, where this twinning of Jeremiah and prophecy of persecution also appears.

First Reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9

Res: For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God

Second Reading: Romans 12:1-2

Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27

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