Second Sunday in Lent – Year B

February 25 - March 8

Gospel Lectionary Text

Mark 8:31-38

8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

8:32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

8:33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."

8:34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

8:35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

8:36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?

8:37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?

8:38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."


In the second week of Lent, Jesus names what is becoming obvious — the conditions are set for him to become a scapegoat. He then invites the disciples to pick up their cross and follow him. Peter is understandably scandalized. He’d hoped for a revolution against Roman oppression. He sees Jesus as a sellout — a source of shame for the movement, and perhaps, Peter himself.

Recognizing the seeds of violence, Jesus responds decisively. He casts out the spirit of rivalry between them (which is Satan), and the shame in Peter that fuels the rivalry.

Yes, Jesus occupies the shame of humanity and transforms it creatively, nonviolently. Imagine the thing that most haunts you becoming the very source of your power, something more precious than gold. This is what happens with Peter, who eventually sees the creative genius of Jesus and picks up his cross and follows him.


Are there ways that your shame and disappointment have put you in rivalry with Jesus’ creative work, and how is the Spirit inviting you to put that behind you?


Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Be still
See the complete prayer

Word from Below Reflections

The Tertium Quid

Ever move from applause to rebuke in the blink of an eye?    We continue in our Lenten journey to the cross and this week find ourselves with Jesus and the disciples in Caesarea Philippi. Peter has just answered a question from Jesus correctly and is likely feeling pretty good about himself until he hears Jesus…

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Alexamenos Worships a Donkey

It’s the second week of Lent and here we find Jesus teaching his disciples that, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again” (8:31).

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Suffering and Love

To live is to suffer, Gautama Buddha taught. This is the first of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. Raise your hand if by some chance your life experience has taught you otherwise. Maybe you are an extraordinarily fortunate child reading above your grade level here. Even then, I might prompt you to think again...

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Understanding the Bible anew through the Mimetic Theory of René Girard.

Weekly Homily by James Alison