Stumbling Block

Aug 31, 2014 | [post_view] Views

stumbling block

Our Gospel today is a continuation of the Gospel last Sunday where Simon professed his faith in Jesus. Jesus told him that he was blessed, then named him Peter, the rock on which Jesus will build the church and He gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. We could just imagine how joyful and elated Peter was. But, while he was still in that state of elation, our Gospel today tells us that Jesus rebuked him for he was being a stumbling block to the plan of salvation. Peter would not allow Jesus to suffer and die.  He tried to take Him away from His cross.  All he thought about at this moment was that the messiah must not die.  He must lead the people to victory and not be defeated by suffering and death.  However, Jesus then told him, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.  You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” At this, we can see that Peter shifted from a feeling of joy to a feeling of humiliation and embarrassment. Peter became a stumbling block to Jesus.

Of course Peter remained to be a rock but now he is a rock that makes Jesus stumble.  Seemingly, Peter tried to make Jesus follow him.  He tried to walk ahead of Jesus  which would make Jesus to stumble. Jesus reminded him to get behind, to stay at the proper place where the disciples should be, behind the Master, following the Master.


Am I a Stumbling Block to God?

In our relationship with God, have we become a stumbling block to God’s plans? What are those things we do which prevent God from fulfilling His plans for us? Instead of following His will, we want God to follow ours. We want Him to get behind us. And we do all these particularly in our prayers.  When we pray, we try to manipulate God to do what we want by making bargains with Him, by asking for signs, by threatening Him that we will no longer pray nor go to Mass if He will not grant our prayers, etc. These and many others block the will of God for us.  Like Peter, we are reminded to get behind Jesus, to let go of our plans and let God fulfill His even if it means that we have to go through pain and suffering.


Following Jesus along the Way of the Cross

Jesus stressed to all of his disciples, to all of us, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” To get behind Jesus then is to follow Him along the way of the Cross. Peter might have thought that the end is only death. He missed what Jesus said that He would rise on the third day. Carrying our crosses behind Jesus, therefore, does not bring us to an end on Good Friday. Good Friday is not our terminus. Our terminus is Easter Sunday.  Jesus assures us, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” We will rise with Him.

By following Jesus this way, we will be able to avoid being a stumbling block to God and we will attain eternal life.


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