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Sunday – 22

A boy desired so much to be an altar server in my parish. But for some mysterious reason, his mother objected to his dream. Soon the boy forgot his aspiration and got acquainted with a group of boys who proved to be bad influences on him. Now the mother could not control her son’s forays into a life of irresponsible affairs. She regrets that she did not allow her son to serve in church, where there was a greater chance of growing up a fine young man.

The gospel today tells of the Lord Jesus revealing his dream to follow the designs of his heavenly Father for his future. Indeed, God had a plan for his Son and Jesus wants to execute this design, even if it meant unspeakable sacrifices. Hearing of Jesus’ desire, Peter remonstrates with Jesus to prevent this from unfolding. He was so vehemently against it, he will do everything to spare Jesus the event of the cross.

It is easy to understand the reaction of Peter. It is the same with anyone who knows how to love. When we love someone, part of it is really trying our best to protect him or her. Peter heard Jesus speaking of the tremendous ordeals he must undergo, and Peter, a loyal follower and friend would have none of that happen to his Master. He was prompted by love.

Jesus was quick to correct this attitude of Peter. For sure, Jesus appreciated the concern of Peter, but he could not understand why Peter had to obstruct the way the Father planned for him to attain glory. Peter was too protective, he was “satan” – literally, an enemy of God’s desire to save the world.

The gospel brings us to consider how we deal with our loved ones when they reveal their plans in life, their ambitions, their goals. Are we supportive or are we over-protective? Is it really love to keep people at home than to let them run free to pursue the beating impulse of their hearts?

How many women sadly abandon their careers because their of their husbands’ objection? How many children grudgingly try to finish a college course chosen for them by their parents? How many people live in misery because they are constantly controlled by people around them?

Jesus is reminding us not to stand in the way of other people’s progress and happiness just because we think we know too much what is best for others. Our love must liberate. Our love must not extinguish the fire in another’s heart.

And if you feel that people around you are not supportive of your dreams, do not easily give up. Remember how Jesus for his right to follow the path he freely chose. It is God who plants dreams in our hearts and if it pleases him that you accomplish his dream for your life, you will find a reliable and trustworthy companion on your journey, even though it be a difficult one.