Blue spring flowers on the Cathedral grounds

Today’s Gospel: Mark 8:31-9:1

Peter didn’t like what Jesus was telling him. The Messiah wasn’t supposed to suffer and die, he was supposed to free the people of Israel from Roman occupation, he was supposed to be a great leader who led his people to great victories. The Messiah was supposed to grow in power and importance until he could liberate his people. Here Jesus was telling Peter that he had to give up all power, even power over his own life. Peter knew that Jesus was the real deal, but he did not like what he was hearing.

If I am honest about my own spiritual life, I have to admit that there a lot of days when I don’t like what Jesus is saying either. It feels so good to harbor my resentments, cling to my disdain and look down my nose at other people I deem less righteous than I. I too want to rebuke Jesus when I hear him say – “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you.” I want to scoff at Jesus and remind him what the real world is like when I hear him say – “blessed are the peacemakers” or “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also.” The ways of the world are so different from the ways of Jesus, and, like Peter, I have to decide just how much of a disciple I am willing to be.

As our Lenten journey draws to a close, it is important to remember that it is one thing to admire Jesus, it is quite another thing to follow him.


His Peace by William Alexander Percy

I love to think of them at dawn
Beneath the frail pink sky,
Casting their nets in Galilee
And fish-hawks circling by.

Casting their nets in Galilee
Just off the hills of brown
Such happy, simple fisherfolk
Before the Lord came down.

Contented, peaceful fishermen,
Before they ever knew
The peace of God that filled their hearts
Brimful and broke them too.

Young John who trimmed the flapping sail
Homeless in Patmos died.
Peter, who hauled the teeming net,
Head down was crucified.

The peace of God, it is no peace,
But strife sowed in the sod.
Yet brothers pray for but one thing —
The marvelous peace of God!