First Reading: (Jer 20:7-9). Even though speaking God’s message to the people has brought Jeremiah nothing but insults, he is unable to remain silent, such is the power of God’s call.
Second Reading: (Rom 12:1-2). St Paul urges the Romans not to live like the people around them, to not be conformed to the world.
Gospel: (Mt 16:21-27). Jesus foretells his suffering and death, and tells his disciples that they too must be prepared to suffer.
Both the first reading and the gospel remind us that true discipleship, true love of God and truly following the call of God all require a real degree of sacrifice. It is a costly love!
Jeremiah cries out: “you have seduced me Lord.” He is saying: I am powerless to resist your love, the strength of your call. No matter how much I want to block you out or run from your call, I cannot deny the fire burning in my heart.
Similarly, Jesus calls his disciples to follow him. He is not the triumphant, military Messiah many had hoped for. Rather he warns them that he would suffer and be put to death. Jesus is calling them (and us) to the same faithfulness and love which cost him his life.