When we concluded last week’s reflection, Jesus bestowed Peter with his new name and proclaimed him “the rock” upon which the Church would be built. In today’s Gospel, Peter learns that such words come with great expectations—but great reward too.  

Jesus explains that as the Messiah, his mission is of service and sacrifice. He goes on to reveal that he will, “suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”  

Peter, who was the first to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, is once again quick with his response. But this time, it is not one of acceptance.  

“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you,” Peter says.  

Jesus is just as quick to reprimand, telling Peter that he thinks, “not as God does, but as human beings do.”  

Jesus’ next words describe the reality of discipleship—for Peter, his peers, and even us today.  

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  

A life in the footsteps of Jesus is a life of sacrifice and service. Yet, it is also a life of the greatest reward. At CMMB, this reward is healthier lives worldwide, and we are blessed, thanks to your compassion, to see glimpses of this reward daily.  

We see it in the community health worker who travels miles to bring help and hope to a sick child. We see it in the motorbike driver, who transports the child to the hospital in the middle of the night… because waiting until morning could mean a life lost. We see it in the diligent doctors and nurses who administer quality care to the child with compassion and hope.  

Who else do we see it in? The child, who will return home with a second chance at a bright future. There is no greater reward than a life saved.