Tag Archives: Peter

But Who Do You Say That I Am?

“But who do you say that I am?”
A reflection on Luke 9:18-22 
Friday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Messiah of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. 

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Luke 9:18-22

“But who do you say that I am?”

“The Christ of God” (Ton Christon tou Theou).

Christos means “Anointed One” or “Messiah,” from the Hebrew mashiach—the long-awaited priest-king and Son of David foretold by the prophets. Ancient priests, kings, and prophets were anointed with sacred oil to consecrate them for their divinely-appointed role. 

While the crowds were puzzling over the mystery of Jesus’ identity, Peter received a flash of insight from “my heavenly Father” (Matthew 16:17).

“You are the Mashiach, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:16 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Related posts: 

Herod’s Perplexity 

The Mystery Begins to Be Revealed

Our Lady of Sorrows and the Mystery of Christ

Related Scripture: Matthew 16:13-17, Mark 8:27-30

Get Behind Me, Satan!

“Get behind me, Satan!”
Matthew 16:21-23 in a couplet
Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Matthew 16:13-23

The Feast of Peter and Paul

The church of Rome considers Peter and Paul, who came to the city and preached and died  there during the persecution by Nero in the early 60s, her founders. Their burial places are marked by great churches, St. Peter at the Vatican and St. Paul Outside the Walls.

They could not be more unlike: Paul, the educated Pharisee from Tarsus was a latecomer  to Christianity but like a runner raced from place to place in the Roman world to plant the faith. In the end, he believed God would give him “a crown of righteousness”  for his efforts.

Peter,  the fisherman from Galilee, was named by Jesus  the Rock on whom he would build his church. Denying Jesus three times, he was called by Jesus  three times  to shepherd the flock. Warily, he went to baptize a Roman soldier, Cornelius, in Caesaria; then he went to the gentile cities of Antioch and Rome to tell of the One he had seen with his own eyes.

The church today prays for Paul’s zealous faith to bring the gospel to the world and for Peter’s deep love for Jesus Christ which he proved by his preaching and death.

Commenting on Jesus’  threefold call to Peter. St. Augustine says it conquered the apostle’s “self-assurance.”

“Quite rightly, too, did the Lord after his resurrection entrust his sheep to Peter to be fed. Not that he alone  was fit to feed the Lord’s sheep, but when Christ speaks to one, he calls us to be one. And he first speaks to Peter, because Peter is the first among the apostles.

“Do not be sad, Peter. Answer once, answer again, answer a third time. Let confession conquer three times with love, because your self-assurance was conquered three times by fear. What you had bound three times must be loosed three times. Loose through love what you had bound through fear. And for all that, the Lord once, and again, and a third time, entrusted his sheep to Peter.”

“Today we celebrate the  the passion of two apostles. These two  were as one; although they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, Paul followed. We are celebrating a feast day consecrated for us by the blood of the apostles. Let us love their faith, their lives, their labors, their sufferings, their confession of faith, their preaching.”

“May your church in all things

follow the teaching of those

through whom she has received

the beginning of right religion.”

The Council of Jerusalem

Our reading at Mass  from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 15, 7-21) brings us to a critical moment in the life of the early church– the Council of Jerusalem, which decided whether and on what terms gentiles would be accepted into the new Christian movement. Its decision to admit the gentiles led to a rapid expansion of the church as non-Jews from all parts of the Roman world embraced the faith.

Luke Timothy Johnson has a fine commentary on this crucial event. (Acts of the Apostles: Sacra Pagina, Liturgical Press 1992)

Did a meeting really take place? Johnson writes “we can state with considerable confidence that in the first decades of the Christian movement an important meeting was held concerning the legitimacy and basis of the Gentile mission; that participants included Paul and Peter and James and Barnabas; that certain agreements were reached which, in one way or another, secured the basic freedom of the Gentile initiative. The most striking agreement between the sources comes, in fact, at the religious level. With only very slight variation, both Luke and Paul agree that the basis of the mission to the Gentiles was a matter of God’s gift, (Acts15,11. Gal 2,9) and that God was equally at work in the Apostle Paul as he was in the Apostle Peter. (Acts 15,7-8.12; Gal 2,8)”

Notice the hesitancy of  the original Jewish followers of Jesus to accept gentiles into their ranks. That’s evident in Peter’s strong reluctance to meet the Roman centurion Cornelius as he visits believers of his own kind around Joppa. Not only are the disciples slow to recognize their Risen Lord, they’re slow to accept his plans for expanding their ranks. Peter must see signs of God at work in Cornelius before baptizing him and his household. Paul, James and Barnabas also must see God’s gifts in the outsiders they meet before they recognize that God is calling them to believe.

God sows seeds of faith, but we’re as slow to recognize the action of God in others as the first disciples were. We have trouble seeing God’s action in the stranger and in the unexpected. We need  enlightenment.

Johnson notes that the Church’s journey through time is marked by conflict and debate. We must accept those conditions today too. Those who follow Jesus will not always agree with each other; there are strong opinions and differences among believers.

One thing I would add. Besides conflict and debate, our reading today speaks of the “silence” that comes as they debate. We’re in the presence of our transcendent God, whose ways and thoughts are above ours. We need silence to discern God’s will. Too much talk can get in the way.

Freedom to Follow

Jesus teaching his disciples. From a 1684 Arabic manuscript of the Gospels, copied in Egypt by Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib (likely a Coptic monk). In the collection of The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Saturday of the Third Week of Easter

John 6:60-69

Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” 

John 6:60

Jesus respected the freedom of his disciples. Without coercion, they were free to accept his words and stay, or leave. 

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?

John 6:61

Jesus was not looking for popularity, counting the numbers of followers, or concerned about public image. On the way to the Cross, he stood to gain nothing and lose everything. As a fisher of men, he cast into the sea a most offensive bait (skandalizó—“shock”). When the fish began dispersing, Jesus made no attempt to make his bait more palatable or attractive, but reiterated his claim to be “from heaven” and “from above” (John 6:38; 3:13).

What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

John 6:62-63

In the protohistory of Genesis, human lifespans were curtailed when the LORD withdrew his spirit from flesh after a limited duration. 

Then the Lord said: My spirit shall not remain in human beings forever, because they are only flesh. Their days shall comprise one hundred and twenty years.

Genesis 6:3

After the rise and fall of multiple civilizations from the time of the Flood, the complexification of human cultures made the divine simplicity of “spirit and life” seem very remote.

But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.

John 6:64

No amount of theologizing will produce a satisfactory theory of human freedom in the face of divine love. Much of what Jesus claims does not fall into neat, rational categories. Jesus presents himself as he is, granting everyone the freedom to follow or depart. 

And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

John 6:65

This statement may vex those accustomed to striving and achieving goals by human effort. Following Jesus, however, is not an achievement, but a gift of faith from the Father. But if faith is wanting, is the Father to be blamed? Such a conclusion is inadmissible. 

The Cross is evidence that Jesus values our freedom even more than his own life. He is the polar opposite of a tyrant. Freedom and love are inseparable.

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

John 6:66

More literally, these disciples no longer “walked” (peripateó) with him. “Walking” (halak) with God is a central idea of Jewish faith and religion (Deuternomy 8:6; 26:17).

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

John 6:67

Like a perfect host, Jesus left the door open for his guests to come and go as they wished. 

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

John 6:68

Peter’s question expressed his realization that, even though it was tempting to search for a more palatable teaching, none were on the horizon. Jesus was here and he had “the words of eternal life.”

We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

John 6:69

These words of faith came wholly from Peter’s own heart, in synergy with the Spirit, without force or indoctrination. Jesus was a rabbi like no other.

-GMC

Easter Saturday: We’re Slow, like the Apostles



Like the apostles we’re slow to understand the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus are not the only ones slow to understand, and we are slow too.

Peter, who preaches to the crowds in Jerusalem at Pentecost, certainly was slow to understand. He speaks forcefully at Pentecost, forty days after the Passover when Jesus died and rose from the dead, but the days before he’s speechless. It took awhile for him and for the others who came up with Jesus from Galilee to learn and be enlightened about this great mystery..

Mark’s accounts of Jesus resurrection appearances, read on the  Saturday of Easter week, stresses the unbelief of his disciples. They were not easily persuaded.

For this reason, each year the Lord refreshes our faith in the resurrection, but it’s not done in a day. Like the disciples, we need time to take it in, and for that we have an easter season of forty days.

The disciples were slow to understand the mission they were to carry out, a mission that was God’s plan, not theirs, a plan that outruns human understanding. A new age had come, the age of the Holy Spirit, and they didn’t understand it. The fiery winds of Pentecost had to move them to go beyond Jerusalem and Galilee to the ends of the earth.

The Holy Spirit also moves us to a mission beyond our understanding. Luke says that in the Acts of the Apostles. “The mission is willed, initiated, impelled and guided by God through the Holy Spirit. God moves ahead of the other characters. At a human level, Luke shows how difficult it is for the church to keep up with God’s action, follow God’s initiative, understand the precedents being established.” (Luke Timothy Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles)

“You judge things as human beings do, not as God does,” Jesus says to Peter elsewhere in the gospel. We see things that way too.

Peter’s slowness to follow God’s plan remained even after Jesus is raised from the dead. He doesn’t see why he must go to Caesaria Maritima to baptize the gentile Cornelius and his household. (Acts 10,1-49) It’s completely unexpected. Only gradually does he embrace a mission to the gentiles and its implications. The other disciples are like him; God’s plan unfolds but they are hardly aware of it.

One thing they all learned quickly, though, as is evident in the Acts of the Apostles. Like Jesus, they would experience the mystery of his cross, and in that experience they find wisdom.

Peter’s New Wings

St. Peter Preaching in Jerusalem, Masolino da Panicale, c. 1426

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

Acts 3:11-26; Luke 24:35-48

Lit by tongues of fire,
Deniers and deserters
Set the world afire.

Like a caterpillar morphed into a butterfly, the apostle Peter flew boldly into the light and witnessed to astonished crowds about Christ’s death and resurrection. Without flinching or shame, the friend who denied Jesus three times accused his audience of denying their Lord. 

“You Israelites, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety? The God of Abraham, [the God] of Isaac, and [the God] of Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.

Acts 3:12-15

Something special transpired between the cockcrow on the night of Jesus’ arrest, and the appearance of the risen Lord to his disciples in Jerusalem on the third day after his crucifixion.

“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”

Luke 24:34

Cleopas and his companion, after a long walk with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, joined the disciples in Jerusalem who were animatedly conversing about Jesus’ personal meeting with Peter. What did the two of them talk about?

Sacred silence shrouds their private encounter. Like the thirty hidden years of the Holy Family in Nazareth, some things are not meant to be pried. The meeting of Jesus and Peter is mentioned only one other time by Paul (1 Corinthians 15:5). 

Jesus had been aware of Peter’s deep mourning at cockcrow on the night of his betrayal and hastened to heal his broken heart after meeting Mary Magdalene and the women at the empty tomb. The one-on-one meeting prepared Peter for the group appearance in Jerusalem. As the disciples’ leader and spokesman, Peter needed to know that he still had the trust and love of his master and Lord. Jesus fully restored their friendship and Peter’s credibility as his witness. 

Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away…

Acts 3:17-19

Peter mercifully excused his Jewish brethren for denying Jesus, just as he had done on that fateful night. Something bigger and greater than sin has metamorphosed the landscape of reality. The darkness and ignorance of the ages have been deluged and transformed by Light from Light, God’s holy and anointed Son.

-GMC

Acts of the Apostle: The Crippled Man


By the old temple gate
lay a poor crippled man,
forced to beg
for the daily needs of life.
He was lame from his birth
with no hope to be healed
until Peter and John came to pray.

Those two friends of the Lord
saw the man lying there
and were filled with compassion and love.
They had no money to share,
so Peter reached out his hand
and gave him the best that they had.

“I have no silver, no gold,
but I give you what I have –
in the Name of Jesus, stand up and walk!
Take this gift of new life
and proclaim to all the world
that the Name of the Lord has set you free!”

By the old temple gate
stands a man strong and free,
singing praise to the Name of the Lord!

Gloria Ziemienski
April 1997

The man crippled from birth who is cured by Peter and John as they enter the temple precincts after Pentecost is an important figure in our readings for the last four days of Easter Week. Crippled from birth, over 40 years old, he’s carried to the gate of the temple each day to beg for alms.  Everyone knows him, he’s a regular. 

After he’s cured he goes into the temple to hear Peter’s message to the crowd about Jesus of Nazareth. As he stands there, relishing his cure, he’s a sign God’s power is a work. Can we see him becoming a believer? The temple leaders, on the other hand, find him an annoying presence whom they try to silence. 

How can he be explained away?

The man was surely at Peter’s side when he spoke to the people in the temple area. Just as miracles accompanied the teaching of Jesus, so now they will accompany the teaching church. We have to expect signs like this, that raise up the poor, to be part of the church’s witness, especially in an unbelieving age.

What other signs can we see in Peter’s words to the crowd as he witnesses to the Resurrection? He points to the tomb of Jesus, in contrast to David’s tomb. It’s empty. We have to keep the holy places associated with Jesus as part of our witness.  He points to the scriptures. We have to keep reflecting on them to enrich our witness. His message is overwhelming a message of forgiveness. Mercy and forgiveness should be our witness too. 

Words are not the only way we witness the Resurrection of Jesus.

Readings here.

Morning and Evening Prayer.  Sunday, Week 1 http://www.praydaybyday.org

Children’s prayers here.

God Made All Things Good

Peter’s vision of a sheet with animals, from Acts 10; illustration from Henry Davenport Northrop, “Treasures of the Bible,” published 1894.

5th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year I)

Genesis 1:20—2:4a; Mark 7:1-13

Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal. And so it happened: God made every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, and every kind of thing that crawls on the ground. Clean and unclean he created them. God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:24-25

Now when the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles [and beds].) So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”

Mark 7:1-5

God’s orderly and functional arrangement of the cosmos into day and night (time), sea, sky, and dry land (space), filled with heavenly lights, animals, plants, and humankind was pronounced “good” seven times.

The universe of the scribes and Pharisees, however, was contaminated and polluted, filled with categories of clean/unclean and pure/impure that were foreign to the creation story.

So where did the distinction of clean and unclean come from? Jesus, who fearlessly interacted with centurions, lepers, “tax collectors and sinners,” walked in Gentile territory and breathed Gentile air, made no division in the created world between clean and unclean. Look within the heart, he said, and root out the true source of defilement.

Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them… For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.

Mark 7:15, 21-23

A centuries-old religious consciousness that developed out of the purification laws and rituals of the Mosaic covenant was hard to challenge. Many heroes of Israel were celebrated as martyrs in defense of their laws and customs. The prophet Daniel admirably withstood pressure from the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar to partake of the royal food and wine, receiving only kosher vegetables and water (Daniel 1:8-17). In consequence, the Lord filled him with prophetic insight. The scribe Eleazar of Maccabean fame was martyred for refusing to eat pork as a sign of assimilation to Hellenistic culture (2 Maccabees 6:18-31).

Jesus alone could not transform religious consciousness. He left that work to the Holy Spirit, the Advocate and enlightener of hearts. It was not to Daniel or Eleazar, whose witness preserved the Hebrew faith, that the following vision was given, but to Peter the apostle:

The next day, while they were on their way and nearing the city, Peter went up to the roof terrace to pray at about noontime. He was hungry and wished to eat, and while they were making preparations he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all the earth’s four-legged animals and reptiles and the birds of the sky. A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.” But Peter said, “Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean.” The voice spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”This happened three times, and then the object was taken up into the sky.

Acts 10:9-161

The vision stunned Peter. The Holy Spirit who gave him the vision also prompted the Roman centurion Cornelius to summon Peter to his house. The shocking actions of Jesus now became Peter’s own as he opened his speech with this revelation:

You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with, or visit, a Gentile, but God has shown me that I should not call any person profane or unclean.

Acts 10:28

The division between Jew and Gentile was not created “in the beginning,” but developed out of the covenant between God and Abraham, “father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4). The final goal of the divine-human covenant is oneness in Christ, as expressed by Paul:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

With the Son’s revelation of the Father and the Holy Spirit, humanity is now destined for a life even beyond that of Eden. For with Paul’s inclusion of “male and female” among the divisions overcome by Christ, Adam is transfigured to the Trinitarian fullness of the divine image as persons transcending individuals:

St. Gregory of Nyssa writes:

Scripture says in the first place, “God made man; in the image of God, he made him.” Only after that is it added, “He made them male and female,” a division foreign to the divine attributes.2

Human persons in the image of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the whole theandric nature by grace through Jesus Christ. As the person of the Son of God is neither male nor female, Trinitarian fullness integrates the gender division into the oneness of deified human nature.

Pentecostal baptism by the descent of tongues of fire upon unique persons crowned the work of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Body of Christ is thus One Many, mirroring the One Three Trinity. 

Peter did not break with Abraham and Moses, but finally saw the Light guiding Israel down the centuries:

In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.

Acts 10:34

The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God.

Acts 10:45-46

In Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, all creation is moving towards its fulfillment in the glory of the Blessed Trinity. 

God made all things good.
Knowledge of good and evil
Marked clean and unclean spaces,
Birds, beasts, persons and races—
A world un-paradisal—
Till Christ died on wood.

-GMC

1 According to the New American Bible (Revised Edition) footnote, “The vision is intended to prepare Peter to share the food of Cornelius’ household without qualms of conscience.” It is not a prescription for food culture. 

In Genesis 1:29-30, God actually intended vegetarianism for humans and animals. See NABRE footnote: “According to the Priestly tradition, the human race was originally intended to live on plants and fruits as were the animals (see v. 30), an arrangement that God will later change (9:3) in view of the human inclination to violence.”

2 St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Creation of Man 16. From Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Genesis 1-11, Andrew Louth and Marco Conti, editors, and Thomas C. Oden, general editor (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 35.

See the related post: Mary, the Church and the Trinity

The Cross of Confusion

Mark’s Gospel describes the growing numbers following Jesus in Galilee as he begins his ministry, listening to him and amazed at the works he does. But there are also growing numbers who find him hard to understand, the gospel says.

VATICANCRUC

The scribes come from Jerusalem and say he has a demon, the Pharisees begin to plot with the Herodians, the followers of Herod Antipas about putting him to death. When they hear about him in Nazareth, his relatives say, “No, he doesn’t have a demon. He may be out of his mind,” and they come to bring him home.

Besides the leading elite and people from his hometown, ordinary people begin to distance themselves. They seem to be the people in Mark’s Gospel today who question him “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” (Mark 2, 18-22) Not only Jewish leaders and scholars, not only his own family and his hometown, but many ordinary people of Galilee found him too much for them.

Jesus brought change, radical change, and change can be hard to accept. Many who heard him weren’t ready for new wine, they preferred the old.

Commentators describe Mark’s gospel as a Passion Narrative with a prelude. In other words, the early stories in Mark’s gospel announce the last story of his Passion and Death and Resurrection. Jesus dies alone, forsaken by many ordinary people who flocked to him at first.

Commentators also see Mark’s gospel written to help the Christians of Rome who suffered a brutal, surprising persecution by Nero in the mid 60s. Rome usually singled out Christian leaders in times of persecution, but this persecution seemed to strike at ordinary Christians as well. The senseless, arbitrary persecution left Rome’s Christians confused and wondering what this all meant. Mark’s account reminds them that all who follow Jesus must follow him, without always understanding.

Confusion and lack of understanding are part of our world today, aren’t they? We are living in a time of rapid changes. For many, the old wine, the “old days” are better.

The Cross of Jesus may not come as hard wood and nails. As in Mark’s Gospel, it can come in the form confusion and lack of understanding. A Cross hard to bear.