Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (8: 27-33) in which Jesus, on the way to the villages near Caesarea Philippi, asks his disciples, ‘who do people say I am?’Fr Paul says the Gospel that we hear today is the turning point in Mark’s Gospel. Everything we’ve heard up to this point in time has shown an ever-increasing wonder and amazement at Jesus. His personality, his goodness, his authority – all have been built up to this moment, but even his close disciples don’t see what this means. Then, as we hear today, Peter suddenly realises that Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed of God, the one that everybody is waiting for, but again, Peter does not understand what this means. Jesus begins to show his disciples the road that he must walk, the road to fulfillment, and that road is through suffering. Three times Jesus states the prophecy and three times the disciples fail to understand – if you want to follow Jesus, you have to follow him to the Cross. You have to endure suffering. Fr Paul says, for our reflection today, we might pray that we have the strength and the courage to follow Christ no matter the cost.
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