Our Gospel this week in a well-known passage from Marks Gospel in which Jesus asks those closest to him ‘ who do you say I am?’ Peter speaks for the gathered disciples stating that Jesus is the Messiah. All well and good to this stage.. But then Jesus teaches those gathered that he will one day have to suffer for those he loves. Peter speaks out against this necessary suffering, and is rebuked by Jesus. Jesus is clear, if we are to be motivated by love, suffering will be inevitable.
Of course we can all be like Peter. Yes, we want to be disciples of Jesus – but to suffer for Him… that’s another issue. There can be no doubt that to identify ourselves as Christians, as friends of Jesus Christ, as members of the Catholic Church, is becoming increasingly difficult. To stand up for what we believe, to profess our faith, is to open ourselves to ridicule and misunderstanding. Jesus knew that this was what was in store for us, he knew that we would one day have to carry his cross with Him. This is why Jesus also strengthens us with word and sacrament so that, when the time comes, we are able to bear our share of the load.