Sunday, September 13, 2009

Get Thee Behind Me Satan

Whenever I hear Jesus telling Peter "he's no better than the devil," as we hear today in Mark's Gospel (8:27-36), two thoughts come to mind. In any organization, or work group, or team there is always the "new guy", we used to use the term "green" before it took on today's meaning. Anyway this inexperienced team member would be frantically trying everything to impress the boss. You know what I mean; if you throw enough stuff against the wall sooner or later something will stick. His or her goal is to get noticed, to be recognized by the boss. There is a risk in doing so, one might do something erroneous or contrary to company policy, or offend someone. There is something admirable in the enthusiasm, this "attitude to please," yet the message returned sometimes is painful; "you are not good enough," or "you haven't been initiated yet" or "take a seat at the end of the bench." Which brings me to the second thought that comes to my mind; my father. My Dad was a wonderful father, but he did not explain things too well and he expected you to get it right the first time. When I was child and my Dad was working on something in the house or yard or some renovation project, he would send me to the basement for tools. I was eager to help, but in many cases didn't have a clue what he was asking for, invariably I would bring up the wrong wrench or socket, or nail, or screw, or saw, only to receive the wrath of my Dad. Still I knew one thing, my Dad loved me and always would. Peter is like myself running down stairs to get the right tool, he wants to please Jesus. Why? Because he loves Jesus and in his heart would do anything for Him. Jesus loves Peter, but Peter has got it wrong, "he brought up the wrong tool." I believe that it is the beauty in Scriptures to watch God's handiwork when working with us foolish human beings. He knows all too often we don't get it, but He "rounds up our test score." Peter is like us, we love Jesus, but we are clumsy in how we express it, or we are not looking at the big picture. But we know the rest of the story, despite his failings Peter becomes the Rock by which our Church stands today. Despite the many times my Dad chewed me out I love him and he loves me. Beautiful isn't it.

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