September 3, 2017: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
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 yourself,
take up your cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his/her life will lose it,
but whoever loses his/her 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 your life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to your conduct.” (Matthew 16:21-27)
Poor Peter! How would I feel if Jesus called me, “Satan” and further poured salt in my wounded heart by saying I was an obstacle in his way! I would be crushed. Jesus goes on to say what he expects of his followers: self-denial, willingness to do the hard things and going the way he shows us.
This week practice being an “angel” of kindness and smooth the way for others, perhaps even pushing obstacles out of their way, literally or otherwise.