Gospel: Mt 16:21-27
From that day, Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem; that he would suffer many things from the Jewish authorities, the chief priests and the teachers of the law; and that he would be killed and be raised on the third day.
Then Peter took him aside and began to reproach him, “Never, Lord! No, this must never happen to you!“ But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path. You are thinking not as God does, but as people do.“
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If you want to follow me, deny yourself. Take up your cross and follow me. For whoever chooses to save his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life, for my sake, will find it. What will one gain by winning the whole world, if he destroys his soul? Or what can a person give, in exchange for his life?
Know, that the Son of Man will come, in the glory of his Father with the holy angels, and he will reward each one according to his deeds.
Read: Jeremiah expresses his existential inability to reject God‘s call. Paul invites Romans to surrender to God‘s will and be transformed by it. Peter is rebuked for his human ways of thinking. Disciples are asked to vacate the self to follow Christ.
Reflect: Why does Jesus call Peter Satan? Satan‘s task is to hinder God‘s ways. To hinder someone, one has to block the path. That is what Peter does. He stands in front of Jesus, blocking his path and trying to get Jesus to change his mind. In other words, Peter plays Satan. Jesus reminds him that the place of a disciple is not in front of the Master, but behind him. Where do you stand in relation to Christ–in front, behind, or beside him?
Pray: Lord, teach me to renounce my will and embrace yours on a daily basis.
Act: Make a list of renunciations you need to make to follow Jesus radically.