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In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples a very simple question. But their response goes on to reveal the very foundation of our faith.

Jesus asks his disciples who they believe he is. Peter, who speaks on behalf of all the disciples, says, “You are the Messiah.”

Knowing that his disciples understand him as Christ, Jesus reveals the meaning of his ministry and his fate.

He tells the disciples that he will be rejected, crucified, and rise again three days later. We can imagine what his disciples were thinking as Jesus said these words. Disbelief? Sadness? Fear? It is never easy to accept something we do not want to hear as truth—even as a disciple of Jesus.

We see this in Mark’s Gospel when Peter rejects Jesus’ fate.

Jesus tells Peter that he is thinking not as God, but as human. He then turns to the crowd and says, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”

One of the lessons we can take away from today’s reading is the greatness that comes from looking beyond our expectations and accepting the truth—even when it’s not the truth we want.

How many times have you had the wrong idea or expectation? It’s far too easy to expect one thing and experience another. Peter expected Jesus’ ministry to have a different outcome and he struggled to accept it. But it was that very outcome that resulted in our salvation.

Sometimes, when our expectations are not met we experience something even greater.

stephanie cares for infant at home

We will conclude our reflection with the words of Stephanie Onoh, a CMMB volunteer who recently served in Haiti—a country that is in such great need of support. In our interview with her, she describes the importance of embracing service with flexibility and a commitment to learning. If you are interested, you can read our full interview by clicking HERE.

Go with an open mind and be ready to learn. I feel like a lot of people go into countries like Haiti with the mindset that they’re going to go in and make all these changes without taking people and their culture into account. But just because something works in the states doesn’t mean it’s going to work here.

In grace and peace,


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*Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.