In last week’s Gospel we met a Jesus who was very human. He healed people by touching them with his hands and by talking with them. Today in our Gospel we get the ultimate revelation of his humanity. Like all of us Jesus will die, and like some of us it will be a violent death. Jesus reveals this future to his disciples just after Peter proclaims him “the Christ.” But Peter can’t accept this awful revelation. It does not match his expectations of “the Christ.” Peter’s “Christ” is not someone who could die, or much less be so dishonored, so defeated and destroyed by others. What about us? What is our reaction when Jesus does not meet our expectations — maybe when He does not answer our prayers even when they are for something very worthy? Or when our life falls apart even though we have been very good, by human standards? Then who is Jesus for us? Who do we say he is? A great Protestant philosopher of the 20th century, Alfred North Whitehead, gave this answer: He is the fellow sufferer who understands. This fellow sufferer Christ who tells us, Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me, would certainly also add: and I am with you always, until the end of time.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia