We share insights from Father Timothy's homily for the Twenty-fourth Sunday of the Year.
Along the way Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” In order to be able to answer this question, we have to know him. And to know him, we have to not only listen to his words but follow him along his way. And we must allow him to determine what that way is. It cannot be a road of our making.
When we do veer off on our own road, we have to be open to hearing Jesus’ rebuke, “Get behind me.” I don’t think he’s only saying to Peter, “Get out of my way. This is the way I have to go, and you’re being an obstruction.” He’s saying, “Peter, you are no longer on the path I am treading for you as I go before you, you need to get back on the path behind me as my follower.”
Peter does get behind Jesus. He continues to follow him, even though he continues to make plenty of mistakes. He’s still there to see the Resurrected Lord, and to receive the Spirit at Pentecost, and with renewed understanding to boldly proclaim the Crucified Messiah in those wonderful speeches we have in the Acts of the Apostles. And strengthened in the power of the risen and glorified Jesus he now knows intimately. And he continues to proclaim him, until finally he comes to the same fate as his Master.