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7 UPs Weekly Lesson – August 31, 2014

deny yourself, take up his cross

First Reading: Jerimiah 20:7-9
You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.  All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me.  Whenever I speak, I must cry out, violence and outrage is my message; the word of the LORD has brought me derision and reproach all the day.  I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more.  But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.  O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.  Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, For your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you.  Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.  As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.  You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.  My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.

Second Reading: Romans 12:1-2
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.  Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Gospel: Matthew 16: 21-27
Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.  Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”  He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.  You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “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 will find it.  What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?  Or what can one give in exchange for his life?  For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”


Prayerful thoughts from Rev. Jack Vessels, SJ, The Rio Grande El Paso Padre
Reflections for AUG 31, 22nd of yr: Jer 20 7-9; Rm 12.1-2 ; MT 16. 21-27‏
'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself, take up
his cross, & follow me.  Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it.
Anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.'


During the day: Let the Son of God seduce you--that's why he became a man: no better way to let someone know you love him than by dying on a cross for him!  Being the beloved sure makes it easier to become the lover!

Authentic prayer supposes an open heart; the open mind discerns the eternal truth without being able to comprehend it, but lets the heart embrace it.