Weekly Missionary Reflection
22th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 30 August 2020
Jer. 20:7-9; Ps. 63:2,3-4,5-6,8-9; Rm. 12:1-2; Mat. 16:21-27
From rock to stumbling block! Just in one week, Peter totally changed. A week before he was called the rock, the foundation of the Church of Christ which was undefeated by the gate of death, this week he become a stumbling block and is called “Satan”. Did Peter really change that fast? Could his confession of last week be fake? Let us try to comprehend the journey of this simple fisherman. His confession of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of living God was the fruit of revelation from the Father. It was not the fruit from school or his own opinion. Today we heard what is really in Peter and his friends’ mind. They are still strongly embracing the belief of the victorious Messiah; the Messiah who would not give up easily, who would not even die horribly on the cross of the infidel Roman invaders! Peter and other disciples just seemed to change from not-understanding to misunderstanding! They knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, but they were mistaken about how He became the Messiah and Son of God. They had to understand that: Jesus is the suffering Messiah, because He is an obedient Son!
The journey with Jesus had been halfway. Jesus had already headed to Jerusalem, the place of His passion and death. The direction of His journey was clear, but the aim of the journey was not agreed yet. They walked together, one direction but different goal. The time left was very short. The correct understanding was not reached yet. This particular group whom Jesus had been relied on had failed to understand. As Jesus spoke about the cross, death and resurrection in Jerusalem, Peter immediately pulled out Jesus and “rebuked Him”: may God keep that away! For Peter, God could not let the suffering and tragic fate happen on Jesus. The disciples who had been called to “follow Me” now were commanded to “go behind Me!” Peter was in front of Jesus and blocking His way. The gesture was like a disciple who did not have self-awareness and was in a wrong position. Instead of being behind the Master, he walked in front of his Master, became an obstacle and a stumbling block. That was not the position of a disciple, but the attitude of the opposition: against God’s plan. No wonder, he who was just called “the happy”, was now called “Satan”. His way of thinking resembled Satan who tempted Jesus to use His status of the Son to be free from danger and pain (Matt. 4: 6,10). Peter, who previously received revelation from the Father, was then thinking secularly and pure humanly.
The secular mindset is deeply rooted. You and I will spontaneously avoid the suffering and pain. It is not easy to see that God also works in suffering. It is very hard to see His plans in pain and disease. It is much easier to applaud on His way and plan in success and pleasure. Theology of success is surely a bestseller, while theology of the cross is an unsuccessful. The campaign that “the child of God must be rich” is louder than the invitation to serve, sacrifice and bear the cross! We forget that a disciple is not above his Teacher. The journey with Jesus is the path to the cross. To believe in Jesus without accepting His cross is a false Christianity; indeed, it is a Satan’s version of Christianity.
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Prosperity in the maritime: May all people who work and live from the sea, sailors, fishermen and their families, and officers who guard the sea, always be blessed with safety and prosperity. We pray …
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Harmony for the nation: As a real action in establishing the togetherness and harmony of the nation, may the Church open itself to the culture and want to promote the variety of local arts activities. We pray …
We entrust our efforts in the state to realize the justice for for every citizen. We pray …