Can you imagine being in the physical presence of Jesus and have him turn to you, personally, and say, “Get behind me Satan!” How shocking would that be for you? How shocking might it have been for Peter, one of the beloved disciples who gave up his life to follow Jesus? Peter was being protective of Jesus in that moment as Jesus had just told his disciples how he would have to suffer, die, and be raised on the third day. Peter could not imagine that his Lord would ever have to endure something so traumatic. He reacted like anyone who loves another person, being certain he would not let such a thing
happen. Jesus reprimanded him for thinking as humans think and not as God thinks.
We often find ourselves being so sure that we will not allow a certain outcome for the people we love. As a parent we might think, “I’ll do whatever I can so that my child does not have to suffer.” Yet, we know by life experience, ours, and that of others, that we are not the one who is in control. Like Peter, we need to be challenged to “think as God thinks, not as humans do”. What Jesus was teaching us in this Gospel account was that God has a plan. He has a plan not only for his Son, but for all of us. And it is important to recognize that our human mind cannot comprehend what is necessary to ensure that God’s plan is realized.
Jesus teaches the disciples and all people throughout the ages that we must give up our way of thinking and take up the crosses we need to bear to follow him. In effect, surrender to the will of God, just as Jesus surrendered to the will of his Father and lived out his Father’s plan. The beauty of that was our salvation. We can only imagine the unknown joy that awaits each of us as we surrender, pick up our crosses and continue to follow Jesus. We know by faith that God is with us every step of the way. We find our strength to carry our crosses in the grace freely given from our loving and caring
Take time this week to think about how you might need to surrender to God’s will for your life. Do you trust God enough to do so? Do you believe that you are strengthened by the Holy Spirit within you? May we graciously accept the
invitation to draw ever closer to God as we surrender to his will for our lives.
In shared faith,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC