Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Mt 16,21-23
Jesus asked the apostles: “But who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16, 15). Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God “(Mt 16, 16). And Jesus, after calling him blessed, as the subject of the Father’s revelation, adds: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it”(Mt 16, 18). This is the point when today’s Gospel begins. Jesus, thinking he is in front of people to whom the Father has revealed his plans as He had revealed them to him, begins to talk to them about his earthly fate, his passion and his death on the cross that await him. Peter, then, brings him aside and, strong with the role he has just been given, tells him: “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you”.
Jesus, then, realizes that Peter had been illuminated by the Father about one side of the messianic truth, but not about all, and takes the distance from him, because he can feel the temptation not to carry out the Father’s program of salvation, and utters that sentence in front of which Peter is thunderstruck: “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do!” Poor Peter has not been certainly enlightened by the Father about this part of the truth, but it is for the love of the Master if he refuses to accept a plan of salvation so tragic for him. We have retraced step by step the phases that have led to this situation of temporary misunderstanding between Jesus and Peter, because this is a mistake in which, because of love, the parents may also fall, when they face with a child who tells them an exceptional plan of life, such as a missionary call. We parents are not always bold enough when it comes to share the courageous choices of our children. So, after listening to the parents’ reasons and suggestions, it is good for them to make their own free choices, led by prayer. The scandal, in fact, is forbidding to fulfil God’s will, and, in certain circumstances, even the parents may scandalize their children.