18th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 5th August 2022 — Gospel: Mt 16,24-28
Motivations for the New Age
Jesus emphasizes the importance of giving up one’s life in order to have a better life forever. Only here and nowhere else do we find God the Father is called the ‘Father’ of the Son of Man. The Christological question (who Jesus is – the earthly Son of Man), receives an answer in terms of future eschatology and the last judgement. In view of this, Jesus points out to his disciples a New Age that is different from the current self-centered age. The New Age calls for a radical new orientation. The Old Age is characterized by a pull toward self, but the New Age is characterized by selflessness. On the last day, not all the treasures a person has gained on earth will buy the one thing he has lost: his own salvation, his own eternal life (Ps 49,5-9). The idea of final judgement, which stands behind in vv.25-26, is made explicit in v.27. The three motivations for the New Age are: if you give up your life for Christ, you will find it (16,25); you can either gain Christ, or the world (16,26) and you will be rewarded by Jesus if you choose Jesus (16,27). In a sweeping apocalyptic scene, we are presented with a Jewish-Trinity: the Son of Man, his Father, and his angels. The Son of Man being the judge of the whole cosmos, he will reward and punish each person, disciple and believer alike, according to his concrete way of acting (Ps 62,12).