“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me…”
Poor St. Peter. If you recall, a few Sundays back he seemed to finally “get it right” in the Gospel, when he courageously exclaims to Jesus: “Master to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” He finally seemed to get something right–but not for long. This week he’s back to being his“open mouth insert foot” St. Peter, so much so, that Jesus called him “Satan”and tells Peter to get out of his way. It seems Peter understood the “who” of Jesus but he didn’t quite understand the “how” of Jesus. That is, St. Peter understood that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. However, what Peter didn’t understand was how Jesus would usher in his kingdom, and the incredible sacrifice it would take.
Yes indeed, Peter understood the “who” but he didn’t quite understand the “how”. But he learned fast! And let’s be honest and admit: we would have thought the same way as Peter.It’s not easy to understand suffering and sacrifice. And if it’s tough to understand, it’s evenmore difficult to endure! After all, who among us wants to willingly suffer?
The simple truth is that a full, meaningful, truly Christian life comes, ironically enough, in self-sacrifice more than self-serving. It is challenging? You bet it is. Does it take commitment? Sure it does. Do we always get what we want? Of course we don’t. That’swhy St. Peter and the disciples – at first — didn’t want to hear it. It’s why you and I find it so hard to hear. But one thing is for certain: it’s the gospel truth. 😊“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me…”
It is a joy and blessing to serve as your Pastor,
Fr. Mike +JMJ+