Take up your cross and follow me

Today, in Matthew’s Gospel (16: 24-28), Fr Paul says we hear the first of three times that Jesus clearly predicts his suffering and, basically, the disciples can’t stomach this message. Each time Jesus repeats the message for them, they too, must share in his suffering.

Today’s Gospel also introduces us to the term ‘Son of Man’. Only Jesus uses this term. Literally, it means ‘human being’ and Jesus uses it in the third person so he is really speaking about himself. It is thought that Jesus is hinting, when he uses this term, that he is the Son of Man prophesied by Daniel in chapter 7, verse 13.

Fr Paul concludes by reading that verse for our reflection today:

“I saw in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man!
And He came to the Ancient of Days,
And was presented before Him.
And to Him was given dominion, and glory and kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”

And so, Fr Paul says, for our prayer, we might place ourselves and our prayers with the Son of Man.