Year C: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel: Luke 9: 18-24
It is quite a jump from last week’s Gospel to this week’s - we lose chapter 8 and the early part of chapter 9 - which you might choose to read for yourself if you have time.
Today’s Gospel marks a turning-point in Peter’s life - a moment where he began to see Jesus for who he was - even if he did not fully understand what that was going to mean.
Luke often describes these pivotal moments as coming at times when Jesus is praying with His disciples - and this is no different.
Perhaps Jesus was aware of the gaze of His disciples as He prayed - perhaps He sensed their curiosity and awe as they saw the closeness of His relationship with the Father. We cannot know what provoked the question but it might well have been a way of moving the disciples along in their faith.
Jesus asks who everyone else says He is - and then asks the disciples who they say He is. Do they see Him as the crowds do - or is their vision any clearer.? Peter declares that Jesus is the Christ of God - the Anointed One.
Jesus must have been heartened to hear the declaration - but immediately leads the disciples to see that the path He is to follow is not the one they might expect for the Christ. His path will not lead to recognition and status - the elders and those in authority will reject Him and His message. Not only will He be rejected but He will suffer grievously - be put to death - but then, ultimately triumph by being raised from the dead.
His words to the disciples then - and to us now - are clear and uncompromising - His way will be our way. If we follow Him, we too will have crosses to bear - suffering will not pass us by any more than it passed Him by. It will seem that we are losing our lives as we try to model them on His - we may not die for Him but there are many ways of laying down one’s life for the One we love.
What does it mean for me?
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