Have you ever thought it possible to think as God thinks? Maybe in a dreamlike moment we might have wondered what it would be like to have the wisdom such as god possesses but as we go along living our ordinary daily lives to actually think as God thinks, maybe but I’m not sure about that. Yet in today’s gospel reading we come upon a day in the life of Jesus as he is making his way, with the disciples, to the area of Caesarea Philippi, and he is telling them that the time will come when he will have to suffer greatly at the hands of others and even be put to death for the sake of the kingdom. Peter says, in effect, ‘No Lord this is not possible’. Peter is rebuking the Master with these words.
At that Jesus turns the tables around and rebukes Peter, publicly ‘No Peter you are not thinking as God thinks but as human begins think’. To think as God thinks. With Jesus’ words of rebuke to Peter he is actually challenging us to think as God thins and not only as human beings think, in fact sometimes we must strive to think as God thinks especially when it come to the teachings of right and wrong. It may be difficult at times because it may mean we have to stand apart from the crowd and risk their rejection but when it deals with matters of truth and justice, righteousness and goodness, we have to be willing to stand apart from the masses and stand beside the Lord, and that means learning to think as God thinks.
Every one of us is called to live by the truths that Jesus preached in the years of earthly ministry. Sure, sometimes it may not be easy because the ways of the world seem to be so popular and to stand apart from those popular ways mean we will have to search inwardly and make some very tough decisions. In today’s second reading from the Letter of St. James we are given some very sound advice. He writes: “Beloved, where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits without inconstancy in insincerity.”
Reflect on these words of advice from St. James and apply them to the possibility of learning to think as God thinks and siding with the Lord’s teachings makes all the more sense. Jesus never said that we would be able to live by his teachings and not have others challenge us for following them. When we consider the lives of the saints, we so often find them at odds with others because they are striving to live by teachings of Jesus and very often, they were confronted by false teachings ridicule from non-believers and even threatened with persecution, even death.
Who are those saints we praise with the highest honor? The martyrs, the ones who had to pay the highest price for the sake of goodness and truth. All the saints are the ones who learned to think as God thinks. Don’t forget we are called to be saints as well.
The seasons are changing and hopefully for the better.