Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (8: 14-21) in which Jesus warns the disciples about the Pharisees and Herod. Fr Paul recognises that one of the features of Mark’s Gospel is the failure of the disciples to understand Jesus. Three times the disciples are told off by Jesus because they simply fail to understand. Each time it happens it is at the Lake of Galilee.  In the days ahead, with our reflections, when Peter finally voices his understanding, they are told off another three times for their failure to understand what it means to be Messiah. In this Gospel, Mark is stressing that suffering and endurance are essential elements in following Christ.  This is central to the Christian message. In other words, we cannot understand the Christian message without suffering. We cannot understand suffering without the Resurrection. The suffering and the Resurrection is God’s recognition and approval of this endurance of Jesus.For our reflection today, Fr Paul says, we might recall those times when suffering has been a part of our lives; times when we have had to endure different things that may have hurt or caused us harm in some way; and, in the light of today’s Gospel, we might further reflect on how that suffering and endurance brings us closer to Christ.