“Get behind me Satan! You are an obstacle to me.” These harsh words of Jesus leap off the page in today’s Gospel and ring uncomfortably in our ears. It might be the first thing we mention from the Gospel if we took a survey right now.
But I believe the most helpful line from Jesus in today’s Gospel is: “You are not thinking as God does.”
As we also begin the five-week Season of Creation this weekend, do we think as God does about creation? In the beginning, in the Book of Genesis, we know that God saw that all God had made was good. Do we?
When it comes to creation, thinking as God does – harmonizing with God’s thinking includes harmonizing with creation. We are called to live in harmony with creation. We’re in a climate crisis today because we haven’t done that. We have either exploited or mined creation for our own benefit or we have used nature as a huge dumping pile for our waste.
Jesus came, in his own words, that we may have life, and have it in abundance, and he also prayed that we all may be one. In being a disciple following the life of Jesus and the thinking of God, we also enter the rhythm of God’s gift of creation and the abundance of life therein. And so we also become more consciously part of the interconnectedness we all share.
The world theme this year for Season of Creation is “Let Justice and Peace Flow.” In light of today’s Gospel, that means getting in the flow of God’s thinking, and allowing that flow to direct our actions in all things, especially with nature. So go with that flow. You might find yourself becoming a vegetarian, getting rid of your leaf blowers, not flying as much, planting trees, doing those important things that we know helps the environment, yet things that you are resisting now. But because you are now in the flow, you are thinking what God is thinking, and you won’t look back.