obstacle course (part 2)
"You are an obstacle in My path." —Matthew 16:23, JB
In today's eucharistic readings, the greatest leaders of God's people become obstacles to God, even while doing great works for Him. Moses struck the rock and brought forth water for many thousands of people, yet did so in a way that allowed his own personal bitterness and frustration with the rebellious people to boil over. Thus "the rash utterance passed his lips" (Ps 106:33), and he failed to show forth God's sanctity to the people (Nm 20:12). Peter spoke the marvelous truth that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God (Mt 16:16). Yet shortly thereafter, Peter tried to divert Jesus from following His Father's plan, and became an obstacle to Jesus (Mt 16:23, RNAB).
Jesus calls us to do great things (see Jn 14:12). It's important to do His will, yet the manner in which we do these things is also important. God expects us to show forth His sanctity, His loving kindness, His mercy (Nm 20:12). For example, a parent disciplining their child must do so in such a way that the child sees God's love rather than the parent's frustration. "Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister" (Rm 14:13, NIV). Therefore, "we put up with all sorts of hardships so as not to place any obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ" (1 Cor 9:12).
Satan and his demons constantly try to lay an obstacle course before God's people. However, God authorizes us to bulldoze that course, saying: "Open up, open up, clear the way, remove all obstacles from the way of My people" (Is 57:14, JB). "Make ready the way of the Lord, clear Him a straight path" (Lk 3:4).
Prayer: Father, pour out the Holy Spirit on me (Rm 5:5). May I be Your co-worker (1 Cor 3:9), and never an obstacle to You.
Promise: "He is our God, and we are the people He shepherds, the flock He guides." —Ps 95:7
Praise: St. Dominic's ideal was "to speak only of God or with God."
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 2013
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