Isaiah 50: 5-9; James 2:14-18; Mark 8: 27-35
Greetings to you, readers, hearers and doers of Gods’ word! Welcome to another scripture reflection which we hope will inform and enlighten you, but more importantly mirror back to you the healing work you do for our patients, residents and for each other on a daily basis.
We start our journey this week in a place called Caesarea-Philippi along the Jordan River. Jesus had earlier that day healed a man blind from birth. The man, amazed and grateful runs about telling all who would listen, the details of this wondrous event. As the apostles travel along with Jesus, Peter could tell that the crowds were thinking good things, even supernaturally good things about Jesus. Arriving at their destination, Jesus does not commence with preaching to the crowds as might be expected, but rather as if reading Peter’s mind, asks:
“Who are the people saying that I am?” Peter and the others blurt out in excitement: “John the Baptist, returned from the dead! Others think Elijah or another prophet.”
Jesus takes a breath and patiently inquires:
“And what about you?” It is possible to feel the eyes of Jesus looking into yours; like the eyes of those we care for when we first approach the bedside or wherever we meet. “What about you?” “How will I be treated, seen, heard because you serve in this God conscious facility?”
As the gospel history relates, Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Jesus, knowing that he has work to do in the short time he has left, gently warns them not to talk about this to others. We refer to this as Peter’s confession; not in the sense of admitting a mistake, but in the sense of having come to believe that Jesus was “More than.” Surely, Jesus was pleased as he went on to teach the group of the days to come during which he would suffer insults, rejection and even death in order to fulfill the plan for his life. Peter puts on the role of big brother and gets in Jesus’ face about his predictions. Jesus in turn rebukes Peter, calling him Satan and in so many words tells him to get out of his way. “You are not thinking as God does, but as man does. Each one must take up the cross of life and follow me. Whoever gives of their life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”
I believe each of us is called to answer the question Jesus asks: “Who do you say I am?” I also sense that we each will be asked a similar question. A favorite poet, Jan Phillips offers this:
What was your work? How did you help?
Where did you fail?
Who did you run to? How did they help?
Who stood beside you?
What kept you going? What seeds did you sow?
How did they grow?
What made you laugh? What made you cry?
Who did they say you were?
Elizabeth Lowe, BCC
Tags: apostles, christ jesus, elijah, gods word, gospel history, isaiah, john the baptist, pastoral care, prophet jesus, scripture reflection, St. Mary's, St. Mary's Health System, st. mary's regional medical center, Sunday, sunday gospel, Sunday Scribes