Today’s readings remind us that the path of love leads us away from ourselves. This is always painful, but ultimately it is a path that leads us to the fullness of life.

Peter’s journey of faith (Gospel) earns him the severe disapproval of Jesus, who has started to speak openly of the shocking nature of his Messiahship. Peter rejects the idea: his thoughts are human rather than those of God. Jesus explains that being his disciple means being prepared to shoulder his cross: a metaphor for suffering for what we believe in.

Jeremiah (First Reading) gives remarkable insight into how costly his own prophetic mission is. He shares his profound struggles and suffering, as well as the intensity and depth of his relationship with God.

The Psalmist speaks passionately of our life-giving desire and thirst for God – and by implication, of the personal cost that following the Lord may involve.

In the Second Reading, Paul encourages the Romans to see all aspects of their lives as a living sacrifice. Paul is offering a radical, new teaching on the concept of sacrifice. Sacrifice is now to do with transforming our way of life from within, and modelling ourselves on the person of Christ.