Posted: 19 Feb 2009 01:00 AM CST
Gn 9:1-13 / Mk 8:27-33
We seem to have arrived at a point in our history where the political campaigns are continuous and there is barely a pause between one election and preparations for the next. In such a culture, we pick up fragments of consultant-speak which occasionally are quite helpful. A case in point is the injunction, “stay on message.” Don’t get distracted, don’t forget your mission, and don’t let anybody pull you away from what you know you’re about.
It’s very good advice, not just for politicians, but for good Christians everywhere. And we see it in the flesh in today’s gospel. Jesus has just told the group where he’s headed and how his life and ministry are going to end up. Quite understandably, they are appalled. Peter speaks for the whole group when he says, “No, this can’t be!”
Peter loves Jesus, and Jesus knows it, which makes Peter’s opposition all the harder for Jesus to face, but face it he does — sternly. He is frightened and he is agonizing and he needs all the support he can get, but even when that support appears to evaporate he does not falter. He remembers his mission, his vocation, and he stays on message. He stays true. What a remarkable model and source of strength he is for us.
Lord, help us to be faithful as you are faithful, and true as you are true.