Between the Gospel passages from last Sunday and this weekend, we see the highs and lows of Peter; we see Peter in lofty moments of profound inspiration, and yet, we see him in moments of impetuous worldliness.
In last Sunday’s Gospel, Peter was able to recognize that Jesus is the Son of God sent into the world by the Eternal Father. Still, in this Sunday’s Gospel, Peter was unable to comprehend that the mission of Christ was to suffer and die on the cross in Jerusalem. Peter failed to see the total picture, and possessed a short-sighted and earthly view of our redeemer’s mission. The cross was a stumbling block for Peter, and he did not look beyond the cross at the resurrection. His total understanding of the cross would come much later… like after Pentecost.
Peter did not think as God does, but as fallen man does. Only God can see the total picture; fallen man cannot. And when Our Lord revealed his Passion, Death, and Resurrection to his disciples, he revealed to them what the Eternal Father willed for Our Lord and Savior, and the disciples could not take the news that
he had to suffer and die.
At this point, the cross was a scandal for Our Lord’s disciples, and they failed to see the Lord’s loving will in the Passion and Death that Our Lord had to undergo for our salvation. Yes, Peter and the disciples failed to discern properly what the Lord’s will was. They were too short-sighted at this moment in their lives. And like Peter and the apostles, we too could be short-sighted in what the Lord has planned for us, and that’s why we have to properly and prayerfully discern the Lord’s will in our lives. We have to rely on divine assistance in order for us to discern what the will of God is and see the whole picture in relation to eternity, and then we can follow and obey what He wills for us in a grace-filled way that is always pleasing to Him.