Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
Today is the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity. Today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel follows on directly from Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi that Jesus is the Messiah. This confession at Caesarea Philippi is central in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke for two reasons. First, it is the turning point when the disciples first fully recognise that Jesus is the Messiah. Second, it opens the way for Jesus to give explicit teaching about the kind of Messiah he really is. He is the Messiah who suffers alongside and on behalf of the people of God. Just as Peter found the idea of a suffering Messiah difficult to grasp, so have many future generations.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of suffering. In today’s picture from his book, The Broken Leg, Teddy Horsley has just fallen and is in lots of pain.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you suffered for our sake.
Heal us by your suffering and death,
that we may share with you your risen life;
for you are our God.
Next Sunday is the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity. The Gospel reading concerns Matthew’s teaching about members of the community who have lost their way. The image to help prepare for this theme is losing the way. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Preparation Resources.
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