Sunday, August 31, 2008

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 16: 21-27
Jesus has just given Peter the keys to heaven and declared him to be the foundation of the Church. And then Jesus calls Peter "Satan" and an "obstacle" to his plans. What are we to make of this stunning reversal? Did Jesus change his mind? Or was he telling us something of his expectations for community and discipleship? "You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." Let that truly sink in: we are called to unity with the mind of the Divine. What does that mean when we think of power, authority, responsibility, judgment, mercy, love? Can we abandon our own needs and desires to embrace the will of Our Father? God loves each of her children and wishes all of them to return to his embrace, but do we believe this? Perhaps one of our crosses to bear is the relinquisment of our need to be unique and special, and to instead put on the garment of the simple human who is already unique and special enough in the eyes of God. For what will it profit us to gain the mantle of the extraordinary if the cost is to lose our place as an ordinary child of our Creator.