Genesis 9:1-13, Ps. 102:16-21,29,22-23, Mark 8:27-33

“But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.” (Mark 8:33)

If you have ever been duped before by a trickster, then you have just experienced a tiny percentage of satan’s deceptive abilities. Satan is a master of disguise; he never shows his true colors, he comes either as a close friend or as a good adviser and sometimes, he even tempts us through those we hold in high esteem. This is exactly what plays out in today’s Gospel passage.

In a town called Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples what people were saying about him. Only Peter gave the correct answer: “You are the Christ.” In Matthew’s account, we are told that Jesus was so excited with Peter’s response that He immediately pronounced Peter, the first Pope. “You are Peter, and on this Rock, I build my Church.” (Matthew 16:18). “

Shockingly, a few moments after, we hear Jesus saying to Peter: “Get behind me satan…” Was Jesus speaking to Peter as a person? No. Rather, Jesus addressed the deceiver directly who, at this moment, was speaking through Peter. Having been given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, (Matthew 16:19), satan in his craftiness sought to use this opportunity to discourage Jesus from the Cross.

Is it possible for satan to be speaking through a man of God? Yes. The question is not whether it can happen, the question is, will you be able to sift between the voice of the person from the voice of the devil? This is why we all need to pray for the gift of discernment or better put, the ability to distinguish between spirits.

In today’s first reading, we come to the end of Noah’s story. We see how God made a covenant with him and blessed him with the same blessing that Adam and Eve received. New humanity was about to begin. A covenant is an agreement between two parties. The question is: “will this new humanity under Noah remain faithful to the terms and conditions of this covenant?” 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, open all my spiritual senses to recognize satan the tempter so that I may never get to fall for his tricks. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of week 6 in Ordinary Time, Bible Study: Genesis 9:1-13, Ps. 102:16-21,29,22-23, Mark 8:27-33).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu