Daily Reflection – Sep 16, 2018
Sunday 16 September 2018
First Reading: IS 50:5-9A
I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
PS 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
Second Reading: JAS 2:14-18
Gospel Reading: MK 8:27-35
Today’s Note: Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.”
Get behind me, Satan. (Mark 8:33)
Try to imagine the look on Peter’s face when Jesus rebuked him. He must have gone from a beaming smile to a forlorn frown in a split second.
Did Peter love Jesus when he said, “You are the Christ” (Mark 8:29)? Yes! Did he love Jesus when he urged him to avoid the cross? Yes! Peter loved Jesus with his whole heart on both occasions, even though the first response came from God, and the second one didn’t.
If it was hard for the great St. Peter to recognize the difference between godly truth and ungodly temptation, what hope could there possibly be for us? Sure, there are times when it’s not hard to spot the influence of the devil. But what about those times when we feel we are being sincere and honest, but we’re still wrong?
What about those times when we say something out of a good motivation, but it ends up being the wrong thing at the wrong time?
The first thing we need to do is admit that we don’t always get it right. We’re going to make mistakes and hurt people, even when we have good intentions. There will even be times, humbling though they may be, when our good intentions end up serving devilish purposes. Praise God for his mercy and patience!
Second, we need to know that the Holy Spirit wants to teach us how to live. St. Paul tells us that no matter how inscrutable the wisdom of God may be, “we have the mind of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 2:16). This means we really can learn how to discern spiritual things.
Over time, Peter learned how to discern God’s voice. He learned how to sort through his intentions and be a clearer instrument of God’s grace. We can too. Just keep telling yourself, “I have the mind of Christ. I believe that the Holy Spirit is my guide.” With this little statement of faith, you can develop the gift of discernment.
“Lord, show me your ways so that I may discern your will.”