“You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

On the road to Caesarea Philippi, Jesus takes the opportunity to teach His disciples (Mk 8:27-35).  First He asks them who people say that He is.  He gets a variety of answers.  When He asks who they think He is, Peter speaks up for the group saying that He is the Christ.  Jesus warns them not to repeat this to others.  Then Jesus tells them about His upcoming rejection, death, and resurrection.  Peter rebukes Him for such talk, to which Jesus responds by calling him Satan and then following this with the words above.  Reaching their destination, Jesus calls the disciples and the crowd together, telling them that they must deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow Him, losing their lives for His sake and the gospel’s sake.  Jesus’ reprimand of Peter should make us consider God’s will in our lives.  What occasions cause us or at least tempt us to think or behave in a way that seems wise or practical on a human level but do not comport with what God has revealed?  Do we miss opportunities to defend the Faith because we don’t want to stir the pot, expose ourselves to a backlash, or lack confidence in our ability to do so?  Are we reticent to call out sin and evil in society because we might be branded a bigot or intolerant?  Are public expressions of our beliefs in secular settings off-limits to us because we are embarrassed to call attention to our religion?  In a society increasingly hostile to religion, especially Christianity, we must be willing to lose the “safe” life we lead and put out into the deep for the Lord, even if it means being rejected as He was.  We become prepared to do this by repentance, prayer, and study of Scripture and Church teaching.  May we never again miss an opportunity to witness to the Faith.

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