Last week, Peter recognised Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God, and Jesus gave him the mission of leading the Church. But in today’s Gospel, Peter is harshly rebuked as “Satan,” a stumbling block in the path of Christ. Why? Because Jesus has begun to spell out to his disciples what lies ahead of him. He knows that his betrayal, suffering and death will be the price of our salvation. Peter, like any friend, is horrified at the thought of Jesus suffering in this way. He loves Jesus and is ready to follow him anywhere – but he hesitates when he is faced with the death that Jesus must suffer. Jesus makes it very clear. This is God’s way.
Peter hesitated again when he faced suffering himself, but in the end, he did take up his own cross. Like Peter, we feel drawn to Jesus, and the hope that he offers us – but we may hesitate when we have to pay a price for our faith in Christ. But where else will we go?