2/16/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reading: Mark 8:27-33
27 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?”
28 They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.”
29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.”
30 Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
31 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.
32 He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 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.”
2/16/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reflection: Mark 8:27-33
Peter was the chosen leader of the twelve Apostles and the community He established. Yet when he committed a blunder, Jesus rebuked him and even called him Satan. Peter is a human being and he had many flaws. Even if he was the chosen leader, Jesus still rebuked him. This means a lot to everyone. No leader, no matter what position he holds, is perfect. They are prone to commit mistakes and therefore they are all in need of correction. Moreover, people must never be afraid to correct them.
On the other hand, those who are rebuked, especially if they are officials in any establishment or organization, public or private, religious or otherwise, must admit their frailty and they must at all times be open to criticism. This is one important way to show humility.
How do we rebuke somebody? Let’s look at verse 32. It says Jesus took Peter aside and rebuked him. It means, Jesus did not criticize him publicly. Human beings have emotions. They have “faces” to protect. Putting dirt on that “face” publicly is tantamount to “”killing” him. People commit mistakes but they must never lose their dignity as human beings. After all, respect begets respect. When it is our turn to commit mistakes, which we often do, we also deserve to be treated well.
Finally, when we are rebuked, it doesn’t mean the end of the road for us. Let us look at Peter. He was rebuked but he did not give up and run away from Jesus. More often than not, to be rebuked means to be valued. Most people who rebuke us only want the best of us.