Mk 8:27-33 Rejected and Killed
While reading today’s Gospel passage, I could not help but to turn my thoughts towards a common occurrence these days: “second-guessing.”
What would we say about Jesus if he were arrested, tried and sentenced today? It is not a pretty picture. No wonder Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him. “Lord, everyone will think differently of you. The people will not understand. They will think you were a common criminal? Everything you said and did will be turned against you.”
Who do people say that I am? The answer will depend upon the state and condition of the Lord and of how sin clouds my vision.
A neighbor: “I always thought that there was something strange about him. After all, he came in and out way too often. Strange people were coming and going at all hours of the night. You should have seen how many Prostitutes and degenerates I saw talking to him.” Yes, love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemy and make him your friend can be confusing to the busy-bodies and the know-it-alls of the world. These are concepts that go beyond our realm of comprehension and yet they identify perfectly with the Lord and sublimely with his creation. We are all here together, conceived and born in the same neighborhood, living closely among each other, learning more about each other every day. The Lord invited his followers to be honest and to seek out the sinner not to use them but to heal them.
A Bystander: “I called out to him just like the other guy, but he didn’t do anything for me. It must have been all a gimmick, a set-up. You know, he planned it all ahead of time.” The prayers of the faithful – the prayers of those who are meek and humble of heart - will always be answered. They know how to pray will receive what they ask for. If it seems as though my prayers are never answered with a yes then maybe, just maybe, the problem is not with God but with me? More specifically, maybe my constant requests for immediate attention in the things I consider important are in no way important to the Lord and therefore fall to the bottom of the list? Do I see the problem? It is not about me, it is all about us.
A Fallen Away: “He kept on telling us what we had to do. Who does he think he is? I have a brain! I have a mind of my own! I couldn’t stand it when he said, ‘You have heard it said…but I tell you…’ No way, dude!!! Get your hands off my body and my life!”
John Doe: “I heard him say, ‘Let the children come to me.’ That sounds pretty fishy if you know what I mean…” Yes, the Lord called sinners and children: the two groups of humanity that would listen to him the most. Both are like sponges. Both are willing to play seek and find! But the Lord was right when he commented on how twisted and perverse this generation is!
I could go on but I won’t. I will end with the words of the Lord to Peter and to all those that are an obstacle to love, forgiveness and to sacrifice, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." We can imagine for a moment the tremendous lonliness the Lord must have felt.
Father, forgive me for I know not what I say or do.