Prv 1:20-33; Wis 7:26-8.1; Jms 3: 1-12; MARK 8: 27-38
May it be your will, Holy and Eternal One, God of our forebears, that you renew for us a good and sweet year.
In every generation Wisdom enlighten holy souls, making them friends of God, making them prophets. For God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with Wisdom, (from today’s Canticle.) With such thinking, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that I am? Who do you say that I am?” After a series of wild wrong and safe guesses, Peter answers, “You are the Messiah.” Then Jesus orders them to tell no one. His order for secrecy is in Mark’s Gospel and is somewhat puzzling. If everyone were told Jesus was Messiah, it would have both made it difficult for Jesus to continue preaching, healing, and working to bring about God’s reign, as well as to deal with people who didn’t believe him and were trying to hinder, thwart, and otherwise stop him. Supporters and opponents would, each and both, have made Jesus’s work difficult to continue, so Mark says he urged those around him to secrecy. We’re used to reading and hearing Peter’s declaration of Jesus’s identity in Epiphany, Lent, and sometimes in late summer, but what Jesus goes on to say, inset into today’s readings, to teach, and declare are more the today’s focus.