Has it ever happened to you? You are trying to share a really important plan for your life with someone, that you know will require some sacrifice, only to have one of your closest friends try to dissuade you from carrying through your vision?
“Oh, you don’t want to do that!” We might hear from a well-meaning friend, who, with good intentions want to help us avoid a conceived pain that will come from our efforts.
So it was, the Lord himself experienced this with his closest friends. In the Gospel of Matthew we hear:
Jesus began to show this disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
Peter meant well, I’m certain. It frightened him to think that this man, Jesus, would have something bad happen to him. He was a good and holy man! Didn’t we hear last week Peter’s confession about Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Peter didn’t want to lose the one that had come to signify so much in his life; Jesus was a key that unlocked many riddles and questions, and now, he had just heard that it is all going to be taken away. Jesus responded to Peter:
Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.
Peter’s love for Jesus became an obstacle – a potential stumbling block.
Let us be mindful that, like Saint Peter, we too can mean well, and yet be a stumbling block for those we love.