Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary time ‘c’
Satan is real, and he will do anything to distract us and he will always try to act against God’s will. We need to be aware of that and always ask God “to deliver us from every evil.” Look what happened in the Gospel reading for today. Jesus announces to His friends 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 says: “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” For me, Peter’s response seems very logical, very natural. Most of us would react in the same way -- no such thing should ever happen to a person I love! However, that was Jesus’ mission, His destiny, and the will of God. He knew that this must happen even if His friends couldn’t understand it yet. That’s why Satan took this opportunity and entered Peter’s heart and used him to discourage Jesus and perhaps change His plans. Jesus’ strong words: "get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do" -- were not so much addressed to Peter but to Satan that entered Peter’s heart. This is how evil can manipulate each one of us. And so we need to ask God to help us always to be on our guard and be able to distinguish when we fulfill God’s will and when Satan is tempting us.