The Good News for the Day, August 10, 2017
Thursday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time (410)
Jesus traveled also into the state of Caesarea Philippi where he asked his followers, “What does the public say about me as the Human Child?” They replied, “Some say you are John the Baptist, others Prophet Elijah come back, still others Jeremiah or a prophet.” Jesus said to them, “You, though—who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, Child of the living God.” Jesus answered, “How right—how well off—you are, Simon Johnson. For weakness and human life has not let you know this, but my heavenly Father. And I am telling you: Peter, you are a rock (the name means rock) and upon such a rock I will build my fellowship, and the powers of the Realm of Darkness shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to power in the realm of what is Right. Whatever you judge confined on earth shall be confined in the Better Realm, and whatever you free on earth shall be freed in the Better Realm.” Then he ordered his followers strictly to tell no one he was the Messiah. From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem, had to suffer greatly from political powers, religious leaders, and learned people—and be killed and on the third day be raised. Peter, though, took Jesus aside and started to object, “God forbid, Sir! Nothing like that will ever happen to you.” Jesus turned on him, and said to Peter, “Get away from my face—you devil! You are blocking my way. You are thinking not like God, but like humans.” (Matthew 16)
One of life’s greatest difficulties is to believe weakness is really strength—to believe failure is a starting point, and that “incomplete” forms our very definition. In the Gospels—i.e., in your life and mine—faith means failure and need–failure to have faith, and a need for more faith. Faith means humility, openness to change, and growth, not smug certainty.
Faith means to enter—to share the mystery of God—to see with God’s eyes, to show compassion and forgiveness like and with God. Faith is to empower others, not try to correct, shame, belittle or control them by pretending to be superior. Like Peter, we evade courage & suffering. God’s way? Everyone is a fellow child moving to grow knowledge and faith in our same, loving Father.