In today’s gospel, Jesus reveals who he is to his disciples, and tells them the plan he has for himself. Peter rejects this vision, and rebukes Jesus for saying such things. The messiah cannot be brought low, broken and defeated! It seems more fitting to us humans that He should be put on a throne up high, strong and untouchable, leading and judging from afar. It is such a tempting vision, and so very human.
‘Get behind me Satan! You are an obstacle to me! You are thinking as humans do!’
That is not God’s plan. His plan is to get close and personal, show his love for us, confront us with the reality of how reckless, unconditional and forgiving that love is. How much more glorious that plan is, then some guy on a throne.
It even calls out the human plan: that it is not borne from respect for the messiah, but of fear for the love he shows us. It’s almost cruel, to be loved so much that we could never hope to deserve. Pride and self-righteousness stand in the way of us accepting that love. If we let Him, God can transmute that into a humble and contrite heart. Let Him guide you, through scripture, prayer and the people you meet.
The greatest thing you can do is accept Gods love for you, it’s better than any sacrifice you could make. Let it change you, and you won’t need to tell others about it, they’ll see it in your example.
Thomas Nash is from Brisbane and has been on The Passionist Youth Retreat Team for the last 3 years. He is a humble man with a good soul!