Sunday, August 28, 2011

What we usually pray to God is not that His will be done, but that He approve ours

There are times when He Himself allows terrible sufferings, and then again there are times when He does not let me suffer and removes everything that might afflict my soul. These are His ways , unfathomable and incomprehensible to us. It is for us to submit ourselves completely to His holy will. There are mysteries that the human mind will never fathom here on earth; eternity will reveal them. --Saint Faustina

Gospel text (Mt 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."

Today, we can also see Peter —a most remarkable figure and great testimony and teacher of the faith—as a man of flesh and blood. With virtues and failings, as each one of us.

Listening to Jesus' scolding Peter gives us a good motive to make an examination of conscience about our Christian personality. Are we truly faithful to the teachings of Jesus, to the point of actually thinking like God, or are we rather adapting ourselves to the criteria and way of thinking of this world? Throughout history, the sons of the Church have fallen into the temptation of following this world thinking, of leaning on the material riches, of yearning for politic power or social prestige; and at times, we are more keen on the worldly interests than in the spirit of the Gospel. Before these facts, we are asked once again the same question: «What will one gain by winning the whole world if he destroys himself?» (Mt 16:26).

After clearing up these things, Jesus teaches us what thinking like God means: to love, with whatever is implied about denying ourselves in favor of our neighbor. This is why following Christ means taking up the Cross. It is a very tight following, because «with so good a friend and so good a leader at our side, who came forward first of all to suffer, one can bear everything. He helps us; He gives us strength; He never fails; He is a true Friend» (St. Teresa of Avila). And..., when the Cross is a sign of sincere love, then it becomes enlightening and a sign of salvation.

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