Saturday, August 27, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: The Weekend, Sat, August 28, 2011

[NOTE: I shall be having major surgery on Monday at 7am to repair two abdominal hernias. I’ll be in the hospital for a couple of days, and I shall resume the Reflections when able!]

Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, "Impossible, Master! That can never be!" But Jesus didn't swerve. "Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works." Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? “Don't be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You'll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn't pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory."

Matthew 16: 21-28 [The Gospel for this Sunday, Proper 17A]

God bless Dr. Peterson and his great work of “translating” the Gospel into modern idiom… so well! Just read this and ponder.

I think the key phrase is; “You have no idea how God works.”; and “Self-sacrifice is the way”. That’s what the Way of the Cross is. And it is the path to full personal fulfillment and to joy.

I “know” that the compilers of the Gospel, some 40-70 years after Jesus, redacted the now “Scriptures” to include their own theology and belief and experience. And perhaps it was even edited as late as just before Nicea (325). It is important to understand this. But here I agree: the words that are put in the mouth of Jesus here are spot on when it comes faithfully to interpreting the Gospel Message.

We must understand “how God works”. God’s message is of Radical Love. It is the utter nature of God, and of human beings if we have the courage to seek it. The Darkness has almost succeeded in eviscerating this Truth in the World today. But we all long for the life of Radical Love, and for the peace it brings.

Christ must lead ….. and we all know, whoever we are, what that means: Pour out Love, and embrace everyone.


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