In Partnership with

St Agatha’s Parish

North William Street, Dublin D01N7F6

St Laurence O’Toole Parish

Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin D01KN73

3rd September 2023. Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. PUT ON THE MIND OF CHRIST

Many Christians today are unaware of the purpose of the Cross in their lives. We are called to crucify or die to our sinful self, in order, to give spiritual birth to a new spiritual life in Christ (Matt 16:21-27). Jesus gave His Body up for us on the Cross, can we not give our bodies up to Him? In the first reading, Jeremiah (20:7-9) teaches us that conversion is like a spiritual seduction, where God invites us to fall in love with Him. To follow Jesus, we must begin living life as He sees it, and not as we see it. We must put on the mind of Christ and renounce ourselves and take up our Cross, then, follow Him. If self-denial is found to be too hard a lesson, it is no more than what Jesus practised to redeem us. St Paul says (Rom 12:1-2) that we are not to model ourselves on the behaviour of the world around us, but let our behaviour change, modelled by our new mind.
Like many Christians today, Peter did not understand the mystery of the Cross and rejected the idea, because he unwittingly tried to tempt Jesus to be a Messiah of honour and glory without Sacrifice, Suffering or the Cross. St. Peter’s pride, which is the mind of the devil, thought he knew better than Jesus. He brought Christ aside to steer Him away from God’s Plan of Salvation. Jesus recognised Satan’s influence on Peter and said commandingly, Get behind Me, Satan! You are an obstacle in My path, because the way you think is not God’s Way but man’s. By commanding Satan to get behind Him, Jesus places Himself between Peter and Satan like a shield. He does the same with us.

Satan’s only interest is to remove us from the road to Glory, the Heavenly Jerusalem, by putting us on the road to Hell. St. Paul tells us today that the road to Heaven is subject to redemptive suffering. He says that we are called to offer our living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God. This means that our bodies are spiritual altars, in which we are expected to humbly offer them daily, as a living sacrifice of holiness and purity to God. Satan tempts us to offer our bodies as unspiritual altars, subject to all worldly disordered pleasures, with no boundaries, and to moan and groan against the Teachings of God. Millions of Christians foolishly gamble with eternal Life, by satisfying every bodily craving with no self-control. The cost of our discipleship is spent united with the humble Cross. Let us learn to value our bodies and souls. It is our responsibility, when tempted to sin, to say; Get behind me Satan and not let the devil lead our lives. People who use their bodies as temples to worship God, Jesus says that, He will reward each one according to his behaviour. God bless, Fr. Brendan.