The Gospel according to Mark (8:27-33)
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.”
Reflection: (Paul) I remember the time leading up to and the first few months of married life. I looked forward to many carefree, romantic days where we ate, slept, and did what newlyweds do. Then slowly but surely, we started our family, bought our first car, and entered the responsible, working, raising children, and paying bills part of our life. Along the way we faced little, big, and enormous challenges that tested our commitment to each other and our family. I did not realize it would be this hard. I thought, what happened to the carefree dreams I had? When faced with the greatest trials a voice would whisper in my ear, walk away, run, it shouldn’t be like this. I would have to dig deep for the courage to say get behind me Satan and rebuke the voice trying to lead me to despair.
(Ana) I also had dreams, goals, and expectations for our first few years of marriage. I was in my senior year of college and was pregnant with our first child and was in the hospital twice. I was so close to graduating but did not. What was a part time job became full-time and I never went back to school. Sometimes our dreams aren’t fulfilled and our life takes a detour. We put aside our dreams in order to meet our commitments and Trust that this is God’s plan.
At this point in Mark’s gospel Jesus does two things. He reveals, after some confusion and with the help of Peter, that He IS the Messiah. And he would suffer a fate that none expected. But He knew that his mission led him to Jerusalem and to a brutal death. However, that was the road necessary to resurrection and salvation. What would be difficult was convincing his closest friends this was necessary so He could become The WAY. In our Sacrament of marriage, we too know the way. At times there is great suffering, even death in various forms. We, with the grace of God must convince ourselves that this is the way to our salvation as individuals, a couple, and family. No one, not even Jesus promised it would be easy, but he did fulfill His promise that would lead us to happiness this world could not provide. Who do people say that you are? I hope the response is they see the grace of God and therefore see Jesus, Son of the Living God who came to offer salvation to those who are willing to rebuke evil by invoking His name in all we say and do.
Action of the Day: When was the last time you spent carefree time with your spouse if you are married or a good friend if you are single. Make some time to enjoy the company of someone who reminds you that despite all of the challenges and hardships the goodness of God is present. Smile, laugh, have fun because Jesus stayed the course so we could one day expereince eternal happiness.