Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

“He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do...” (Matthew 16:23.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“Responding to Peter’s ignorance as one opposing God, Jesus said, “Satan,” which is Hebrew for opponent. If he had not spoken to him from ignorance nor of the living God when he said, “Never, Lord! This must never happen to you!” then he would not have said to him “Get behind me,” as if speaking to someone who had given up being behind him and following him. Neither would he have called him “Satan.” Satan had overpowered the one following Jesus in order to turn him aside from following him and from being behind the Son of God, to make him, because of ignorant words, worthy of being called “Satan” and a scandal to the Son of God, “not thinking in the ways of God but of humans.” (Commentary on Matthew, 12.)

God of might, Giver of every good gift,
put into our hearts the love of Your name,
so that, by deepening our sense of reverence,
You may nurture in us what is good
and, by Your watchful care,
keep safe what You have nurtured.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen