Fr Denny Dempsey comments on today’s Gospel:
In last week’s Gospel, Peter proclaims Jesus as the Messiah, not as the result of his mental acuity, but as a result of his seeking God’s guidance. That was what Jesus wanted most in the person to whom, more than anyone else, he would entrust his mission. Yet Peter had his moments when he neglected to seek God’s plan and trusted in his own human logic. Such was the case in this scene as Peter tries to tell Jesus how his mission should unfold.
Jesus, sharing our human nature, would have liked the easier way out. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, he will pray that the cup be taken away if possible. Being the Messiah without the suffering and death was truly a temptation for him at this moment as it had been back in the days in the desert following his baptism. Satan had spoken directly with him at that time. Now the voice was that of his friend. Imagine the strength of the temptation for Jesus to call his friend a Satan and the pain in well-intentioned Peter on hearing these words directed at him. Yet such are we for one another when we give advice based on mere human logic rather than on discernment of God’s will.