From then onwards Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to rebuke him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord,’ he said, ‘this must not happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because you are thinking not as God thinks but as human beings do.’ Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life? Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life? ‘For the Son of man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his behaviour.
The conflict between the Lord and Peter has an enormous depth which may not be obvious at first sight. One is perhaps rather amazed at the apparent severity of the Lord’s reaction! After all, Peter only wanted to protect the Lord from suffering and adversity, and he certainly had pity on him!
This is where the lesson of the Lord comes in!
God’s will is not simply identical with our human feelings and thoughts! We must distinguish very well between what is human thinking and what is the light of God! We human beings initially only possess a natural light, which serves us to understand nature and the world and how to deal with it!
In order to be able to recognise the will of God concretely, we need the supernatural light of faith, the light of the Holy Spirit! In the situation described here, Peter was guided by his human feelings and tried to influence the Lord!
But the Lord points to another dimension! The devil can hide behind human thinking and use it for his plans, and this is quite a good hiding place for him. Human thinking often seems reasonable or compassionate at first sight – as with Peter. However, if we want to explore God’s will, this is not enough and human thinking can even become an opponent of the Holy Spirit.
Let us take an example that is also spreading among Christians today. In the course of homosexual propaganda, which wants to achieve that such a union should even be recognised as a marriage, some Christians forget that homosexual acts are serious sins which endanger the salvation of souls and leave psychological damage in people. Any kind of relativisation of this situation or even a promotion out of misunderstood tolerance, does not have the eternal salvation of man and the will of God in mind! As right as it is to treat homosexual people with respect and tact, it would be wrong to conceal or gloss over their disordered life situation!
So if a Catholic would say, for example, that God has positively wanted homosexuality (and affirmed the corresponding acts), then he would be deceiving himself and the other person. One deprives the other person of the possibility to see his situation in the light of the truth through our word.
There is even something more essential to it. One puts oneself in God’s place, because God has clearly said through his word and through the teaching of the Church that homosexual acts are sin. We correct God, so to speak, as if we knew better today. If priests or even bishops do this – which God may prevent – it is even more serious, because they are particularly committed to true teaching in their special mission.
Such attitudes, which are becoming more and more prevalent in the Church, are disguised by the mantle of mercy. At the same time, those who defend the teaching of the Church in this context are easily in danger of being considered rigorous and merciless. Feelings of guilt may be suggested to them.
An evil perversion of the truth!
Whoever is promoting such lies behind the mask of mercy is easily recognisable, and in this context I would remind you of my reflections on the deception of Lucifer (see: Daily Meditations August 18-22, 2020: http://en.elijamission.net/).
Unfortunately, there are more such examples of how a subtle deception happens by putting the human before the divine. It would be helpful to explain further examples (I will keep on mentioning them from time to time to see how one is deceived, which is a basic principle of antichristian influence.
We must not turn the following of Christ into an effeminate, comfortable life and “soften” all the challenges of the Gospel until we are able to accept them. On the other hand, we should not burden people with a burden they cannot bear (cf. Mt 23,4). Keeping this balance is a spiritual work of art that the Holy Spirit will teach us.
The Lord makes us aware of the seriousness of following Christ in clear words and reminds us of His return. We live towards this return day by day. This is a call to vigilance and to be aware in all we do that the Lord will come and that one day we will stand before him!
Let us be attentive not to sleep and to be influenced by the errors of these times.
Harpa Dei accompanies the daily scriptural interpretation or spiritual teaching of Br. Elija, their spiritual father. These meditations can be heard on the following website www.en.elijamission.net