One great challenge for disciples of Christ is to live consistently: to act in accord with our words and principles. Unfortunately, realities or circumstances make consistent living difficult. For the most part we can be honest or sincere, but given more complicated situations, we can waver and fall.
Peter is confronted with this challenge. In the Gospel, Peter boldly declares that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. But when Jesus begins to speak of his future suffering at the hands of the elders, Peter interrupts him and with equal boldness rebukes Jesus, so that Jesus in turn reprimands Peter.
We often find ourselves in such inconstancy. We can be staunch advocates for poverty and simplicity while giving in to our craving for fine dining and the good life. Hide as we must, circumstances or situations will reveal our areas of inconsistency. The earlier we accept and surrender them to the Lord, the better for us.
Gospel • MARK 8:27-33
Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
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