YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: PETER’S CONFESSION ABOUT JESUS….”If you want to follow me (…) take up your cross and follow me”
BY: Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
Today we find ourselves confronted with situations similar to those described in this evangelical passage. If, right now, God would ask us «But you, who do you say I am?» (Mk 8:27), we should have to warn him He could receive all kind of replies, some even rather quaint. It would suffice to have a look at what is going on in today’s communication revolution. Except that… more than twenty centuries of the “time of the Church” have already gone by. After so many years, we complain and —along with St. Faustine — we grumble before Jesus: «Why is the number of those who know you so small?».
On occasion of that confession of faith made by Simon Peter, Jesus, «ordered them not to tell anyone about Him» (Mk 8:30). His messianic claims to be the Son of God were to be transmitted to the Jewish people with a progressive pedagogy. Later on, there would come the culminating moment when Jesus Christ would declare —once and for all— that He was the Messiah: «You say that I am» (Lk 22:70). Ever since, we have no more excuses not to declare him or recognize him as the Son of God who came to this world to save us. Even more so: all of us who have been baptized into Christ have this “priestly” joyous duty «to go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature» (Mk 16:15). This call to preach the Good News is therefore more urgent if we bear in mind that we keep on hearing all kind of wrong, and even blasphemous, opinions about him.
But the announcement of his Messianism and the advent of his Kingdom occurs through the Cross. Effectively, Jesus Christ «began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly» (Mk 8:31), and the Catechism reminds us that «the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations» (n. 769). Therefore, this is the path to follow Christ and to make him known to all peoples: «If you want to follow me (…) take up your cross and follow me» (Mk 8:34).
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)