Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Gospel in a Nutshell - Saint Foot-in-Mouth

Matthew 16: 21-27

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 Jesus 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."

Then Jesus said to his disciples,

"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 will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life"
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct."
Wow. I can really relate to Peter.

Last  week Peter was shining as Jesus awarded him the keys of heaven and was issued special authority over the church.  Life must have been pretty nice right about then.  

This week he is shunned as Satan, by Jesus, for his poor choice in words!  Our priest today eloquently titled him Saint Foot-in-Mouth.  

So, what could Peter have said that got him into so much trouble? He did not want to accept the will of God that Jesus would have to die.  He wanted to save Jesus and promise that no harm would come to Him.  Sounds pretty innocent right?

Jesus got so upset in today's gospel because Peter was tempting Him to turn away from the path God had directed.  "You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do".

This is why many of us can relate to Peter.

How often do we steer away from God and choose a more materialistic direction?  
How often do we hear God calling us to do something, but make human excuses for not being able to follow through?  
How often to we think that our excuses are for the best and think not as God does, but as human beings do?

I'm so glad we have Saint Peter to look up to.  He doesn't always get it right, but he tries and God loves him for it.  Phew! There's hope for us after all ;)


  1. Great post! Definitely makes Peter more relatable. Good cartoon too! Brings it all together very well!

  2. I love the term "Saint foot-in-mouth!" :-)

    I think we all can relate to Peter in so many ways. He was just trying to do as any of us would naturally do for someone we cared about-- try to protect them and keep them from harm. It is so difficult to discern God's Will, isn't it? In our human fraility, we couldn't possibly understand how God could will His own Son to die. It is too enormous and giving and sacrificial for our minds to ever really comprehend.

    Thank you for once again making a difficult Gospel reading more "real" for all of us.

    God bless,