Readings for Thursday February 17, 2011
First Reading: Genesis 9:1-13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 102
Gospel: Mark 8:27-33
Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (Mk 8:27-33)
Do you ever have ups and downs in your spiritual life? Do you ever feel like one moment you are right there with God and holiness seems within your grasp; only to find the next moment you are stumbling and you don't feel like you are even worthy to talk to God. We all have these spiritual ups and downs in life, we see in today's gospel reading that our first Pope certainly had these same ups and downs. One moment he is the only one to speak up and acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, the next he is being called Satan! Talk about a blow to the confidence. But even though he had these highs and lows, Peter never stopped following Christ. He realized that he needed Him, and he continued to follow Jesus where ever He went. No matter how badly Peter messed up, he never stopped. It is this lesson in perseverance is one that every Christian should take notice of. There will be times when we stumble and fall, but no matter what we should never stop seeking holiness, we should never stop or veer from the path that God has set before us.
We must always remember that Holiness is not a goal to be checked off of a to do list, it is a continuous journey toward God. May He grant us the strength and courage to always stay on this path to Heaven.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we pray for the strength and courage to follow you no matter where you lead us. Lord, you never forsake us, you never cease to pour out your love and mercy on us, may we never be afraid to follow you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.