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Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Jesus wanted his friends to know what the future would bring. He told them he would have “to suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.”

We are told that Peter “took him aside and began to rebuke him,” that is, protest against such a possibility. Peter and the others were looking forward to a rosy future in an earthly kingdom with Jesus. They didn’t want to hear about anything that could upset their fantasies. Peter was speaking for all of us. No one cares to hear bad predictions.

We don’t like to go to the doctor. He might tell us something we don’t want to hear. We might get nervous opening a letter from the one we love - it might be a “Dear John” or “Dear Abbey” letter, telling us it’s all over. We fear getting a pink slip from the boss, a report card from the teacher. And don’t tell us about any threats of war, any more predictions of a failing economy. We only want to hear the best for the future.

Jesus wants us to know that the best for us at some particular time in our lives just might be what we consider the worst; that we first must hear bad news, live through hard times, before the sun rises and the flowers bloom. Jesus had to go through his crucifixion and death before he could rise and live happily ever after - before his kingdom could come. Peter had to face those facts. We also!

In this world life is not and cannot be all peaches and cream. But if we hang in there with Christ through whatever comes, and give life our best shot, more than peaches and cream await us in a perfect, beautiful world. Peter knows that now - and someday, we will too.

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