What do we answer when Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 16, 2018): IS 50:5-9; PS 116:1-2,3-4,5-6,8-9; JAS 2:14-18; MK 8:27-35
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
When He asked who people believed Him to be, Jesus must have been pleased to hear Peter acknowledge Him as the Christ, the Messiah.
Yet neither Peter nor the other disciples understood Jesus when He spoke to them about His coming agony, death and resurrection. Peter even went so far as to criticize our Lord. That was not the message His followers wanted to hear. They wanted this gentle, generous miracle worker to lead them to a better, happier life on earth. So how could Jesus tell them He would endure pain and then die? Our Savior also lets them know that they, too, must willingly suffer as well. “Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and that of the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34-35).
These must have been hard words to hear and, until after our Lord’s passion and resurrection, impossible for them to comprehend. The Apostles and the other followers of Jesus needed those momentous events, as well as the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in order to be able to see things from God’s viewpoint. Only then could they – or we – understand the way of Christ is the way of the cross.