Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Mark 8:27-35
Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “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.”
This is a gospel full of lessons taught by our Savior. It calls me to “listen” to the words that are spoken by him to us. First, I am asked by my Redeemer, “Who do you say I am?” Like Peter I would answer you are the Christ. I must listen to the words that Jesus spoke and remind myself that he is talking to me. And if I wish to come after him I must take up my cross and follow him. Isn’t that what we do when we truly love someone and hardships are upon us? In love we take up that burden and help in whatever way we can. And by forgetting concerns for ourselves we help another. Or if we are burdened in any way, we carry the load for the sake of our own salvation as well as we can in the name of Christ. Daily I must remind myself that whatever the “cross” he will take care of me and God is always working for the salvation of the world.
What burden do you have that weighs you down? Do you carry this cross aware that Christ is there to help in this time of need? In this time of need pray serenely and sincerely that you accept this burden and know that Christ will take care of it.