Today’s Gospel reading is from Matthew 16:21-27. It’s the famous story of Jesus saying to Peter “Get behind me Satan!” Peter and the other disciples have missed the message of what it means to be the Messiah. The Messiah they are waiting for is very much like a warrior. He would come on a great white steed, brandishing a sword, ready to destroy all the enemies of Israel. Peter is obviously confused because in last week’s Gospel, Peter said “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” Now Jesus is berating him for not understanding what it really means to be a Messiah. Peter, when he hears Jesus tell him that he must suffer greatly at the hands of the Jewish leadership and be killed, is confused. His vision of a great Messiah saving the Jews from the evil in their lives is dashed. Jesus is hard on Peter, even going so far as to call him Satan. When Jesus tells Peter to get behind him, he means for Peter to take up his cross and follow Jesus to death if necessary, a pretty tough message for man like Peter to hear.
What can we possibly gather from this Gospel today? What can we gather from this story to heighten our own relationship with Jesus? The answer is not as difficult as you may think. Jesus wants us, just as he wanted the disciples, to get behind him. Jesus is asking each one of us to take up our cross, carry it to the best of our ability and follow Jesus on our way to eternal salvation.
Sometimes to follow Jesus is difficult for us. Life gets in the way. Jesus promised us that he would always walk with us as we carry our own cross. Do not despair. He is walking along with you and leading the way.
Peace and All Good!
Please pray for the courage to face life, and all its difficulties, with courage knowing that God is always with us! God NEVER fails!