“He rebuked Peter.”
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
“Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
Jesus’ teaching that he, the Messiah, would be “rejected by the religious leaders and would die and after three days rise again” was, for the disciples, incomprehensible.
Peter finds the prediction of suffering and death of his friend and mentor, Jesus, unthinkable, and he objects strongly. How hard it is for us to accept that suffering, particularly of ourselves and those closest to us, is a part of life. What is important is not our comfort but what God is doing. However, like Peter, we would like to rewrite this passage. “You are thinking not as God thinks, but as human beings do,” Jesus informs Peter.
Jesus, in the fullness of his humanity, shows us that human life, ours too, includes both joys and hardships. Jesus will not be diverted from his mission. Peter could not understand a Messiah who had to die, just as we cannot understand why painful things happen to ourselves or our loved ones. This is especially so because we believe that God is Love and offers only love. However, we do not have God’s vision and cannot see the whole picture. Knowing, however, that God is all-powerful, all-forgiving and compassionate and showers us with graces and constantly draws us to an intimate union, will I trust that God’s work will be brought to fullness? We are called to trust God despite not fully understanding.
What do I think is God’s vision for my mission? What are my gifts which will serve this? Does it contribute to Jesus’ mission? Am I prepared to set aside my own agendas and use my gifts to serve and do God’s will? Will I try to trust God even when I do not understand?
“.. for anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (Mark 8:35)