As I reflected on today’s readings I began to realize all the times I have had to tell myself to get behind me satan. I know even the way that sentence was phrased sounds strange, but hear me out. There have been many times in my own life where God has spoken to me and I have shut out the voice.
While driving past the homeless man and instead of just saying a silent prayer, wondering why he/she doesn’t have a job. There was one experience I had working a Steubenville Conference and being invited to pray in a charismatic way I never had and I was afraid. Another time I was with friends at a bar and a less than savory topic came up and I laughed awkwardly in the corner instead of standing up for my faith and what I believed was right.
We all struggle with this don’t we? In today’s Gospel Jesus made Peter the head of the Church, and then immediately Peter screwed up by telling Jesus not to do the most important thing in the history of the world. We are among friends here. My beautiful fiance speaks frequently about how she relates to Peter because he denied Christ three times and she hesitated to become Catholic three times.
The Holy Spirit is active in our world and God has a very specific purpose for you. Ok, now stop for a second. Read that again very slowly. Take a few minutes to pray through it. Let it sink in. Let the fact that God has a plan for you be more than just a cute phrase to print on a pencil and hand out to youth group.
God has a special plan for you! So how do we live this pan out? Well thankfully the answer is in the very same Gospel. Jesus rebuked Peter saying you do not think as God does but as human beings do. In order to realize God’s plan and live it we need to trust and pray. We need to trust that God really does see us and want to know us personally and we need to pray because without speaking to God how will His plan become clear in our hearts.
How are you going to pray and trust more today? Something I have been doing in my life is if I ever feel a prompting of the Holy Spirit I just immediately act on it. Instead of standing there wondering if it is God or not, I just trust and reach out to that cashier who seems to be having a hard day, that person at the gym who needs help lifting, the coworker who seems stressed. The worst that can happen is we encounter another person and help them in their walk closer to heaven. Pray and trust. Peace!
Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.