In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus begins his journey to the Cross and Resurrection. The disciples are beginning to understand that Jesus is the Christ, but they cannot reconcile their understanding with Jesus’ own foretelling that he will suffer, be killed, and rise after three days. Peter rebukes Jesus. But Jesus makes it clear that all who follow him will lose their lives for his sake.
Reflection for Parents
As a parent you want what is best for your child. You make sacrifices to provide opportunities for your daughters and sons. Those sacrifices might include sacrificing a career in order to be home with your children or taking on an extra job to save for your child’s college tuition. Those sacrifices are everyday examples of what it means to “deny [yourself], take up [your] cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34).
Today, take time to rest in God’s love. Remember those who made sacrifices so that you would have opportunities in life. Pray about the sacrifices you are making or feel called to make out of love for God and others.
Bringing the Good News Into Your Family
At the dinner table throughout the coming week, ask family members to answer the question posed in today’s Gospel: “Who do you say that [Jesus is]?” Also invite family members to share the names of those who have helped them come to know Jesus.
- People who think like God thinks…
- Someone I know who follows Jesus is…
- One way I can be a better followers of Jesus is…
Peter had expectations about what it meant to call Jesus the Messiah, the Christ. Jesus was indeed the Messiah, but his life and death would show a different understanding of what it means to be the Messiah. We, too, have expectations of God and our own ideas about what we think God ought to be doing in our world. Like Peter, however, we may risk limiting our image of God by thinking only in human ways. God's plan is always more that we can ever imagine.
As you gather as a family, talk about what we expect God to be doing in our world and in our family life. Then read today's Gospel, Mark 8:31-35. Why do you think Peter was so upset by what Jesus was saying? Notice how Jesus reprimands Peter. Do we sometimes forget to let God be God for us? That is, do we sometimes get discouraged because God doesn't act in our world in the ways that we expect? Pray together that we will remember that God is always working for the world's salvation in ways that are beyond our imagination. Conclude by praying together today's psalm, Psalm 116.
[from Loyola Press Sunday Connection]