Tuesday, August 26, 2014

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year A

Twenty second Ordinary Sunday


Being told off and making up

Points to note

Although this passage has much for an adult to dwell upon, there may be little for children, if careful linking is not made with other passages.  If last Sunday’s reading was read, there is an opportunity to place this week’s reading in that context.  To have read of the rebuke to Peter without the preceding investiture as Pope loses some of its sting.

Children love a good story.  The story of the confession of Peter, Jesus handling of the keys to him and the subsequent rebuke should be read with the drama it deserves.  Care should be taken if role playing is to be attempted as a rebuke is involved.  Neither child playing Jesus nor Peter should be allowed to take the rebuke too seriously to avoid anyone getting hurt.

Ultimately, the message driven home is that, no matter how bad of foolish we have been, Jesus continues to call us to be his followers.


Acclamation before the Gospel
Alleluia!  Alleluia!
May the father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.

Peter has just been made the first Pope by Jesus after correctly identifying Jesus as the Son of God.

The Lord be with you.
All:   And also with your spirit.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Matthew
All:   Glory to you O Lord
 (Mt 16: 21-27)
Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was supposed to go to Jerusalem and suffer at the hands of the Jews, to be put to death and to be raised on the third day.  Then, taking him aside, Peter started to plead with him.  “Heaven preserve you, Lord,” he said, “This must not happen to you.”  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!  You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to be a follow me, let him give up everything and take up his cross and follow me.  For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for me will find it.  So what will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life?  Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life? 

“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord


Retell the story to include Peter’s profession of faith.  If possible, make it as dramatic as possible as it must have been a dramatic event!

How did you think Peter reacted when Jesus called him Satan.  Explain carefully what Jesus meant when he called Peter Satan (refer to adult’s guide).  Discuss what Peter must have felt when he was told off by Jesus.  Remember that Peter has just been consecrated as Pope by Jesus and couldn’t have felt any prouder in his whole life.  He must have felt very let down by himself.

Discuss also what the other disciples felt when seeing their leader rebuked by Jesus.  Some may even have felt that no one will ever make the standards that Jesus has set if even Peter couldn’t meet it.

Have you ever felt like what Peter has felt?  You feel useless and everyone else is despairing of you if you will ever be good enough.  Try drawing out the experiences from the children.

What did Jesus actually say to Peter?  Note that Jesus asked Peter to stand behind him.  Now, only followers would stand behind a leader.  If you don’t want someone to be near you, you tell them to get lost!!  So, in the same remark, Jesus followed up the rebuke with a reconciliation.  This reminds us that he will stand by us and help us even if we fail again and again.  Are there any other stories about Peter not doing things right but Jesus gave him another chance?  Peter walking on water; Peter denying Jesus three times.

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