If you want to become a disciple of Jesus, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow him. Mark 8:34
God of all times and places,
in Jesus Christ, who was lifted up on the cross,
you opened for us the path to eternal life:
grant that we, being born again of water and the
Spirit, may joyfully serve you in newness of life
and faithfully walk in your holy ways;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
- Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
- Psalm 22:24-32
- Romans 4:13-25
- Mark 8:31-38
- Exodus 20:1-17
- Psalm 19
- 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
- John 2:13-22
A Thought to Ponder
Lent 2 Mark 8:31-38
“Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering . . . He said these things quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. [But] he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things . . .”
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Throughout his Gospel, Mark portrays a Jesus who is constantly misunderstood by family and friends. The Gospel appointed for today in the common lectionary is a case-in-point. Jesus tells his disciples that his ministry will end in suffering and death in Jerusalem. Peter takes Jesus aside and admonishes him for speaking such a gruesome message. Jesus reacts with surprising sharpness to Peter’s rebuke. The hard reality for Peter and his companions (including us) to accept is that the cross is central to Jesus’ Messiahship – and must be a part of every follower’s acceptance of Jesus’ call to discipleship. To be part of the new life of Christ’s resurrection in the life to come requires dying to our own needs and wants in the present.
Sometimes a cross may be a particular burden, but our crosses can also be a strength or ability we possess that we can use to bring Easter hope into the life of another. Discipleship is the challenge of transforming our crosses into vehicles of resurrection.
Jesus’ strong rebuke of Peter challenges all of us who would be Jesus’ disciples: What crosses are we willing to take up, what sacrifices are we prepared to make, for the sake of the values and beliefs we hold dear?
While we naturally seek to avoid what is painful and stressful, it is in failure that we learn; it is suffering that we find healing; it is in the crosses we take up that we re-create our lives in the joy and hope of the resurrection.
You can read the Pew Sheet hereLent-2-B