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Showing posts from February 27, 2015

Jesus as "an equal-opportunity pisser-off-er"

This Sunday's gospel contains the scene of Jesus telling his followers that he is going to suffer, be betrayed by religious leaders, be killed, and then rise again.  It's not pleasant news for us to hear, and it wasn't pleasant news for Peter to hear. In fact when Peter - representing not only the other disciples but the Church - hears Jesus talk about suffering and betrayal and death as an integral part of his ministry, he's mad. Peter rebukes -- reprimands, scolds, objects -- Jesus for talking that way. In response, Jesus rebukes Peter right back! Jesus gives Peter (and by implication, all his disciples and the Church today) the strongest criticism he gives anywhere in the Bible: "Get behind me, Satan! Your mind is set not on divine things, but on human things." Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., in his wonderful and powerful book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion , writes "The strategy and stance of Jesus was consistent in that it