Pastor's Desk: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Welcome everyone. Reading our Gospel today, one would have to feel sorry for St. Peter. When Jesus poses the question “Who do you say I am?”, He is no longer asking the apostles to relate to Him the thinking of the people. He now wants to know what their personal opinion is. Out of the silence, Peter bravely speaks and says, “You are the Christ”. Everyone might have thought it but Peter leads the way and says it. He believes Jesus is the promised Messiah. Jesus warns them not to reveal this truth about Him just yet.
He then explains all that is going to happen; He will suffer and be rejected, put to death and rise again. Peter, probably still feeling brave after getting the identity of Jesus correct, takes Jesus aside and says this is outrageous and should not be allowed to happen. Jesus rebukes him in full view of all the apostles and says “Get behind me Satan”. This must have been a crushing experience for Peter. But Jesus tells the apostles, and us, that His followers must take up their cross and follow Him. There is no way to escape suffering if we are followers of Christ.
The irony is that people think because you are a follower of Christ you should be protected from the worst of what life has to throw at you. It’s not the case. What we can rely on is the presence of Jesus with us in the midst of what we are going through. Let us thank the Lord for His strength in us.