Gospel – Matthew 16:21-27
Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save is life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
554 From the day Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Master “began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things… and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Peter scorns this prediction, nor do the others understand it any better than he. In this context the mysterious episode of Jesus’ Transfiguration takes place on a high mountain, before three witnesses chosen by himself: Peter, James, and John. Jesus’ face and clothes become dazzling with light, and Moses and Elijah appear, speaking “of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.” A cloud covers him and a voice from heaven says: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”
618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men.” But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, “the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery” is offered to all men. He calls his disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow [him],” for “Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps.” In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries. This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering. Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.
From “The Great Crusade of Salvation” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (CS-55:4-7)
4) ….. Yet, if you want to follow Me, I am predisposing a great work in your souls, and at the end I will let you know what you cannot know now. The miracles themselves are but perceptions of My Omnipotence; things that I do, in order to let you know My Will, which is full of goodness for everyone.
5) He who follows Me will find Me, not as he had imagined Me, but much more real, much more transcendent. The lights here below are given for the great light above. Here you experience divinely that the truth of My Words rests not in the wretched creatures who proclaim it, but in Me who am the unfathomable truth.
6) I say these things to strengthen you in Me, so that you continue to follow My appeal with greater love.
7) Submerge yourselves, all of you oh My beloved ones, in this Essence of Mine, which governs you. Submerge yourselves in this My Love that beats in your hearts. I welcome you. I let you feel that the future that awaits you bears no comparison to your expectations. It is beyond all measure.
From “The Great Crusade of Mercy” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (CM-88:11 – 113:8)
11) Was My Cross nonsensical? If it was nonsensical to die for so many who would have condemned themselves by rejecting Me, is it nonsensical to glorify the Father instead of the condemned? And if My Sacrifice was futile for those who do not wish to follow Me, will it be futile to ask My chosen ones to allow Me to work in them what I cannot work in others? No, My Cross is not nonsensical and the abundance of fruits that issue from My Sacrifice will not be scattered to the winds. You will see what marvelous deeds I am doing so that My Father may receive all the honor and the Love that I wanted and do wish to give Him.
8) Think often of that night of Mine and yours. You are still with Me during all the nights that My Church goes through, and I say again to you, that while the Shepherd is struck, you the sheep of My fold are in danger of being scattered. I do not leave you alone, as it happened with Peter and the others. You are with Me as I have promised you. I have not left you orphans, and you should know that well. If I renew My Passion among you, it is exclusively for your benefit, and you should not respond to My gifts as if they were punishments. “Follow Me,” I told you. Follow Me today if you see Me going to meet My enemies. You must not fear, because you love the Almighty One. Follow Me because beyond the row of My enemies, an inconceivable Love and reward awaits you.
Each week we will be presenting a portion of the following Sunday’s readings, and linking it to relevant parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and messages from the Testimony of Catalina. Pay special attention to the italicized underlined sections. This Sunday it is asked, What kind of soil will you be for the word of God? We hope this is inspiring and educational. Any comments you have are certainly welcomed.
Tim Francis prepared this educational program to help you increase your faith and love for the Holy Trinity and our Blessed Mother. His website is http://YouShallBelieve.com
I have known Tim for many years and recommend his work highly. He is a strong advocate for the “The Real Body and Blood Of Jesus” and the numerous miracles that occur on a daily basis. Both of us are greatly inspired by the amazing writings of Catalina Rivas. Catalina is one of the few individuals in history who personally experienced the “Stigmata Of Jesus Christ.”