24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
“What board games have you played?”
When we were kids, our parents every now and then would BUY us kids a board game. We would go to the kitchen table open up the game… all excited… and
“What’s the first thing that is found when you first open up the game?”
INSTRUCTIONS or RULES FOR THE GAME!!! That’s what you find!
And here goes my brainy older sister… has to read ALL THE RULES before we start. I am all excited and wanna play… we can figure it out as we play…, but NO… gotta read the rules!!!
I will never forget playing those games… it was so much fun, but occasionally, when one of us felt we were winning, believe it or not we would end up saying…
LET’S NOT FOLLOW THAT RULE!!
I think it was in one of those games where you had to START ALL OVER AGAIN!!! And of course you wouldn’t want to start all over again, because then you really would LOSE!
So you say: Let’s not follow that rule!
Ever do that?
Ever do that in regards to “CHURCH rules?” LET’S NOT FOLLOW THAT RULE! Or Church laws?” LET’S NOT FOLLOW THAT LAW, or “the things we must do to follow Jesus?”
Sometimes, we find it difficult to follow all the rules of our church and more unfortunately, we may sometimes pick and choose which rules we want to follow.
God is telling you and me today that we cannot pick and choose which rules to follow… or which church laws to follow…….we have to follow all the rules, all the laws!
Two things happened in our Gospel reading:
1. We have to believe that Jesus is the CHRIST, the Messiah, The Anointed One, the Son of Man
2. We have to believe that CHRIST had to suffer, die and rise.
Peter, a follower of CHRIST, represents one who cannot follow all the beliefs as a follower of CHRIST.
He says… NO, I won’t believe that second part:
YOU DON”T NEED TO SUFFER AND DIE
Couldn’t buy everything he saw
In the CHRIST!
And THAT he was supposed to do!! He was supposed to BUY EVERYTHING ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND THE KINGDOM.
He would say and admit CONFIDENTLY
I buy it that you are
YOU ARE THE ONE
YOU ARE THE MESSIAH
But no way am I going to buy into you suffering and dying!
This says to me…. you cannot pick and choose in what you want to believe about the church.
In the secular world today we are used to picking and choosing.
In our catholic moral theology….not so.
In our ecclesiology, not so.
In following Christ, not so.
Jesus tells Peter….you are following the ways of the secular world, not God’s. You are picking and choosing and NOT BUYING IT ALL! YOU CANNOT DO THAT. You have to buy everything about me and my church!
All of us have to be careful in following the church, in becoming a disciple of Jesus and not get mixed up in what the world philosophy would stress because the world tempts us,
Satan tempts us to:
Be less committed… YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES
Follow all the rules, friends!!!
Buy into everything about Christ.
Buy into His openness
His mercy towards others
His suffering that becomes redemptive
Buy into full compassion and love for the poor
Buy into prayer and belonging to a church community
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it.”