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By Gayle Somers, Catholic Exchange, March 3, 2023
Gayle Somers is a member of St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Phoenix and has been writing and leading parish Bible studies since 1996. S…
Jesus takes His closest friends up a mountain to pray, an action packed with meaning for Jews. Why?
Gospel (Read Mt 17:1-9)
The meaning of today’s Gospel reading is greatly enriched if we understand the context in which it appears, both within Matthew’s Gospel and the larger story of salvation history. Time spent on this will bear good fruit.
In Matthew 16, after Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, the apostles get a nasty shock. Jesus tells them that He is destined for suffering and death. When Peter resists, Jesus sharply rebukes him (“Get behind Me, Satan!” in 16:23) for thinking as men do about suffering, not as God does. To men, this kind of suffering for the powerful Son of God would mean weakness, impotence, and failure. Jesus wants to teach the apostles that His suffering and death will be the path to glory. He has even more disturbing news, too. “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (16:24). A call to discipleship is a call out of self to follow Jesus, to share His sufferings, no matter what the cost. As disturbing as all this might be, Jesus assures the apostles that suffering and death won’t be the end. “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (16:28). …