Pentecost +16 – Year A
Jesus was a stumbling block to Peter, eliciting a "God forbid!" Peter was a stumbling block to Jesus, bringing forth a "Get behind me!"
In the face of mutual stumbling, looking in a common direction may be of benefit. To move beyond our disappointment in another, a reflection upon death is salutary. Death is a commonality usually recognized as larger than our temptations to stumble or just plain old stumbling iteself.
When focusing on our stumbling places we aren't able to recognize their false nature and get caught up in wasting energy on pseudo-death when a consideration of real death might clarify our mind and heart and aid us to regain our balance.
No matter how daily we lose and find life, there is a sense in which we won't move toward death, catch a glimpse of it, even, before we can see beyond it. Here is the contradiction: we are to see death before we can see life and we can't see death until we do so through a glimpse of life beyond.
Blessings upon our stumbling and our death watch. May our loss be our gain. May our rigidity be softened to appreciate that which we call both divine and human.