Fr Paul reminds us that Ordinary Time will be interrupted this week with the beginning of Lent and then the celebration of Easter. Today, he reads the Gospel from Mark (8: 14-21) in which Jesus tells the disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod.

In this Gospel, Fr Paul says we again see the failure of the disciples to understand. It is a feature of Mark’s Gospel. The disciples are, in fact, rebuked three times by Jesus for their failure to understand. Each time it happens, it is on the Lake of Galilee.

In this Gospel Mark is stressing that suffering and endurance are essential elements in following Christ. It is partly the reason why Jesus insists they should not spread the message until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead.

The Christian message cannot be understood without suffering and suffering cannot be understood without the Resurrection.

For our reflection today, Fr Paul says we might ask ourselves ‘When have I failed to understand what Jesus is telling me? When have I avoided suffering in my life?