Fr Hugh’s Homily for 24th Sunday
There is a devil, Screwtape, who is high up in the bureaucracy of Hell, and his nephew, Wormwood, a very young and naive devil, is just beginning his training in the satanic civil service. So Screwtape writes a set of letters to his nephew (as edited, or rather written, by C.S. Lewis) to advise him on how he needs to approach humans in order to coax as many as possible into Hell. One of his best lessons is about complacency. He says: It is just when the human thinks he or she is really becoming holy, starting to feel they are living as God wants, have done enough to earn heaven, then that is a great time to strike. Their guard is down. It is those who think they are doing well who are easiest to tempt into sin via complacency. I am not sure that we can accuse St.Peter of complacency exactly here, but after his great declaration of who Jesus is, which he gets right, he then takes it upon himself, for the best of motives as he sees it as a human, to persuade Jesus against the very thing he has come here to do…….