The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Sun, 09/03/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Peter, Peter, Christ’s succeeder,
tried to sway the Lord our leader,
Went down a path that led to hell
Until he did the wrong repel.
 
Peter thought he was in the right when he rebuked the Lord.
He had a new-born confidence.
He has just confessed “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
His reward?  He is declared the rock upon which the church of Christ is to be built.
 
When Jesus reveals that suffering and death await him
Peter becomes puffed up with indignation.
“God forbid something so unjust happen to you, O Lord.  It can’t be!  It’s wrong!
It’s wrong that someone who does what is right gets punished.”
 
How quickly one can step off the path of life
and step onto the path of death.
Peter thinks he is in the right and Jesus is in the wrong.
Fortunately Jesus is there to correct Peter, re-educate Peter, redirect Peter’s human thinking.
 
What is right is right.  What is wrong is wrong.
One of the first lessons of life is to learn the difference between right and wrong.
Just as in the physical world where choosing the right can save your life
and choosing the wrong can bring you death,
so it is in the spiritual world.
 
If we determine our lives solely according to human thinking,
especially in the matter of right and wrong, we will wind up on the wrong path.
We will wind up on the path leading us away from God and godliness
and toward evil and godlessness.
It is a path leading away from light and into darkness.
It is a false path leading us to vice instead of virtue,
leading us to reprehensible desire and perversion of being.
The false path leads us away from a life in the Spirit
to a life according to the flesh.
 
And do you know what?
God will allow us to walk this path to its end if we so choose.
There are times in the Old Testament
where God actually speeds up a person’s way on the false path.
He does this to give people knowledge of their error,
to give people knowledge of impending ruin and destruction…
so that they might reconsider their lives
and turn from the wrong way of living to a right way of living.
And here’s another “do you know what?”
God visits those on the wrong path. 
God mercifully seeks people who have gone astray. 
He does not abandon them.
 
This is the lesson Peter had to learn.
God’s thoughts are thoughts of peace, thoughts of life,
thoughts of deliverance,
thoughts of providing a way to the Kingdom.
According to Peter’s human thinking, Jesus is on the wrong path
for it is a path that leads to earthly suffering and death.
No, Jesus is not on the false path,
he is on the right path.
Doing what is right never leads to punishment from God…NEVER!
But it often leads to punishment by human beings who are on the false path.
 
Here’s a test for determining the path you are on:
if you ever punish someone for doing what is right….
YOU ARE ON THE WRONG PATH OF LIFE.
 
Here’s another test:
if and when you feel guilty
YOU ARE ON THE WRONG PATH OF LIFE.
 
Like I said, God visits those on the wrong path.
The ultimate sign of this divine visitation is a guilty conscience.
The feeling of guilt is the means through which God calls us back to the truth.
In the thinking of God, guilt isn’t evil.
In the thinking of God, evil is guilt.
If we don’t feel guilty because of our sinfulness,
if we don’t feel guilty in light of our unwillingness to choose and pursue the good…
WE ARE ON THE WRONG PATH OF LIFE.
And likewise, if we feel exaggerated guilt, if we feel guilty in the absence of sin and evil,
if we feel guilty even when we are doing the good,
somehow we are stuck in human thinking.
Whenever we don’t trust divine thinking, whenever we don’t put our faith in divine thinking….
WE ARE ON THE WRONG PATH OF LIFE.
 
Our goal in life, as followers and disciples of Jesus Christ,
is to strive to know what is right and to do what is right
not according to human thinking, but according to divine thinking.
If we are not striving to know and to do what is right according to divine thinking
WE ARE ON THE WRONG PATH OF LIFE.
 
 
 
How do we know what God is thinking?
Such divine thinking is revealed to us in and through
the life, death, and resurrection of the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Anyone who claims to know God’s thinking without knowing Jesus Christ
IS ON THE WRONG PATH OF LIFE.
 
Now why God thinks what He does the way he does….remains a mystery.
To take the right path of life is to be willing to live in and with this mystery.
 
The path of life we choose affects are very existence….how we live in this world
and where we will live in the next.
 
The way of salvation is the right path.
Until we reject what is wrong, until we resist what is wrong,
until we rid our lives, our hearts and minds, of all that is wrong,
we risk the possibility of getting on the path the leads, not to salvation,
but to damnation.
 
Peter, Peter, Christ’s succeeder,
tried to sway the Lord our leader,
Went down a path that led to hell
Until he did the wrong repel.
 
 
Our prayer today:  “O Lord, do not leave us to our own devices, to our own thoughts and desires.  Call us beyond what is human to what is divine.  Show us the way and give us the courage and strength to remain on the path that brings us to eternal joy and everlasting peace in Your Kingdom.  Amen!”