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    St. Mary's Parish
    211 Avenue O South
    Saskatoon, SK
    S7M 2R6

    Phone: 306 244 2983
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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Fr. Frank X. Reitzel, C.R.


I think it is fair to say that when we attend Holy Mass we will find that the celebrant frequently uses Eucharistic Prayer #2. If we listen closely we will hear the words “like the dewfall”. This signals and sums up for us the history of the Old Testament and our teaching of the Eucharist. The readings for each Sunday have been carefully selected for each year and are intended to spell out for us the life-death-resurrection of Jesus.


The Jeremiah passage is one of his famous “Confessions” which he shared with his followers. He was torn with grief; he felt and said that God had tricked him. In fact he used a very strong word: “duped;” in Hebrew the verb “dupe” can mean to deceive or to seduce. This strong word indicates how much Jeremiah was torn with grief. God’s word made the prophet a fool, a laughingstock of Jerusalem. He had recommended that they should surrender rather than defend themselves. He is tempted to abandon his prophetic office. But God seized him and the prophecy is like a raging fire in his heart. He cannot but express it.


Paul had known a similar fire and urged the Roman Christians to hold fast to their faith. Their criterion must be Christ, not a set of human regulations. In Jesus they will be capable of finding God’s plan for them.


In the Gospel we learn of a similar struggle in Jesus Himself. But when Peter, who had just recently at Caesarea Philippi declared his faith in Jesus as the Son of God, could not accept the new teaching of Jesus about His suffering and death. But Jesus also was suffering with the contemplation of His own passion. He almost screamed at Peter: “Get behind me, Satan”. Peter has become a stumbling block to Jesus. The mention of Jerusalem is significant since it had become the city of martyred prophets of earlier times; and St. Matthew’s earlier reference (v.14) to Jeremiah indicates that he recognizes that Jesus and Jeremiah have very much in common.


Peter, on the other hand, cannot accept the implications of the Son of Man that Jesus has proposed; and he flares out against the prophetic teaching of Jesus. Much later, Peter, as the rock, must communicate Jesus’ teachings as Jesus taught them and not as human plans and programs.


In Jeremiah and in Jesus we discover that losing is finding. By losing Himself for His Father He found Himself; the apparent loss became an unimaginable gain. In Jesus, as in

Jeremiah, losing always ends in finding.


Married people who are able to link the Son of Man with their Mr and Mrs also lose themselves for each other and find themselves anew. At Holy Mass, at the Eucharist, we experience the moment when Jesus totally loses Himself in the Father’s will and totally finds Himself in us. Eucharist challenges us, the community, to accept Jesus’ way and become bread and wine for others. In Eucharist we lose self and find the other. Losing is finding.


“‘Celebrating the Word’ is an apostolate of the Congregation of the Resurrection [Resurrectionists], which makes this faith-sharing resource available without cost. To read the full issue, or some of our recent back issues, please visit:


09 – September 3, 2017


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