In the first reading today from Numbers 20, Moses and Aaron get some bad news. Because they were unfaithful to God, they would not lead the people into the Promised Land. This must have been a tough blow for the two men who had led the children of Israel for so many years. But as we know, faithfulness cannot be a part time thing.
Our Gospel reading today is from Matthew 16. It is Peter’s great confession of faith. When Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter replies, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus rewards Peter by giving him the keys to the Kingdom of heaven, and the authority to bind and loose. Wow! Must have been pretty heady stuff. Yet just moments later, the tables turn. Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Now, one can easily come to the conclusion that Jesus’ words to Peter were undeserved. After all, Peter was just trying to let Jesus know that he would stick up for Him even in times of danger. But Jesus’ rebuke came because Peter was no longer thinking in line with God. He let his fleshly thinking take over. Have you ever been guilty of that? Happens to me all the time. One minute I’m in tune with God and His will, and the next, my mind wanders back to the flesh, to the ways of the world. Hopefully we can spend more and more time thinking like God.
Father, you know how quickly our minds wander away from you and your will. Help us to keep our mind focused on your will. Amen.