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Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

We would all like our lives to run smoothly and happily. We want nothing but the best for those we love as well as for ourselves. Peter wanted the best for Jesus. I feel sure Jesus was not opposed to that idea, but for him the best meant doing the will of his Father. Which in his case, was to live a human life with all its ramifications - with its problems and pains as well as with its joys and pleasures.

As death is a part of human life, Jesus had no intention of avoiding it. His mission was to take our human condition upon himself with all its pain and suffering and make it work for good. No one, not Peter, not even his own mother, was going to stop him from doing just that.

Jesus had just told his disciples “he must go to Jerusalem to suffer at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the scribes, and be put to death, and raised up on the third day.” Peter did not like that idea. “May you be spared, Master,” he said. “God forbid any such thing ever happen to you.” At which Jesus turned on Peter and said. “Get out of my sight, you Satan! You are trying to make me trip and fall. You are not judging by God’s standards but by man’s.”

We each have a mission in the world, maybe several, the most important being to learn to love as God loves us - faithfully, consistently, and unconditionally. Such loving can be a crucifixion.

A woman anticipating the birth of her child expects pain, but she also expects it to be worth it. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise: Loving involves pain! But in the end, it will be more than worth it. Christ took all human pain and turned it into eternal gain for those who love God. To love is not easy, but it is your prime mission in life. Don’t let anybody talk you out of doing it.

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