In today’s reading from the Gospel According to Mark, Jesus explains his sacrificial fate to his disciples:
He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
Ever emotional, Peter rebukes Jesus and:
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
It is interesting to me that Jesus admonishes his disciples for their failure to think “like God.” At first I thought, as a disciple, am I supposed to think like God? God is Yahweh so whatever and however God thinks likely exceeds my human capability.
On the other hand, God created us in his likeness (Genesis 1:27).
“God created mankind in his image;
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
So if I am in likeness to God, how might I think like God?
Think Globally, Act Paternally
Now that I am a father of two children, I find it useful to think about the ways I love my kids. It is important to think about the big picture of their formation and maturity and then focus on training and education. For example, here’s part of a parent’s prayer for their children that I pray daily:
…teach me both what to give and what to withhold;
when to reprove and when to forbear;
make me to be gentle, yet firm;
considerate and watchful;
and deliver me equally from the weakness of indulgence,
and the excess of severity;
and grant that, both by word and example,
I may be careful to lead them in the ways of wisdom and true piety…
I think this is how God our father looks upon us.
Account for Free Will
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. In this story, they exercised their free will when they did not heed God’s advice but instead decided to take matters into their own hands. God expelled from Eden as a consequence.
Contrary to popular (secular) opinion, God calls us to be faithful but does not force us. I choose to be faithful because I am happier and peaceful when I accept God’s will. I know that when I am not faithful, I am like Adam and Even – I choose my consequences such as spiritual and emotional pain.
So when I encounter people who do not care about God or even believe that he exists, I understand they are exercising their free will. I am not obligated to chastise them for this choice, even if their choices could be the source of their spiritual and emotional pain.
Pray for Wisdom
I love the story of King Solomon. His faith pleased God and God told him that he could have whatever he wanted. The one thing he asked for was help to be a wise leader. God was pleased with this request and replied (1 Kings 3:12):
“I give you a heart so wise and discerning that there has never been anyone like you until now, nor after you will there be anyone to equal you.”
Understand God - How can I think like God if I do not understand God? The lessons in scriptures provide ample means to come to understand God. In addition to sacred Scripture, Catholics also rely on Tradition and the Magisterium (or teaching authority of the bishops) to understand God. Fr. Thomas McGovern explains this in detail.
In what other ways can we Christians learn to think like God? Add your suggestions.
I learned today that Father Marty is out of ICU and will be transferred to a rehabilitation hospital that specializes in treatment of brain injuries. Ugh. Let us continue to pray for the restoration of his mind and body. Please pray also for Father Mauricio and Father Peter who must accept additional duties as Fr. Marty (the pastor) recovers.
You might also like these related posts from cinhosa:
Today we remember Saint Gilbert of Sempringham
- Don’t let fear hold you back (jhelenparker.wordpress.com)
- Christianity is Not a Religion (hiwaychristian.wordpress.com)
- Learn All About Prayer From Jesus (growingapologist.wordpress.com)
- Faithlessness and Denial (goldenbible.wordpress.com)