Isaiah 50:5-9a - James 2:14-18 - Mark 8:27-35
Overview of the Gospel:
• Since last Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus has fed four thousand people with just
seven loaves of bread and a few fishes (Mark 8:1-21), and healed a blind man (verses
22-26). He has gone from the Gentile area of the Decapolis (Mark 7:31), to
Dalmanutha, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, where he is confronted by the Pharisees (Mark 8:10-13), then to Bethsaida, on the north shore of that same sea
• This Sunday’s Gospel reading (a longer version of which is found in Matthew 16:13-
28), finds Jesus and his disciples at the town of Caesarea Philippi, located at the
headwaters of the Jordan River. Site of the ancient city of Paneas, it was once home to a temple built to the pagan deity Pan (god of sheep and shepherds), carved into a
massive rock wall.
• In Mark’s gospel, this passage serves as a key point. It relates Jesus’ clear self revelation of himself as the long awaited Messiah, and his disciple’s first recognition of
that fact. It also introduces the necessity of Jesus being a suffering Messiah, and for
his disciples to accept suffering for the sake of his name (Colossians 1:24, Romans
8:17). When Jesus speaks of his cross (verse 34), the graphic image of the crucifixion
would hardly need to be explained to his disciples
Additional Study Resources:
Faith Perfected by Love :24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Video Reflections - from
Bible Study - from
Amen, Amen - Really?- by Marcellino D'Ambrosio of Crossroads Initiative
Following the Messiah - Sunday Bible Reflection from Dr. Scott Hahn of
Food for the Journey - Audio reflection by Sr. Ann Shields of
Taking up our cross after Jesus- by Fr. Tommy Lane, Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture in Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland
"But who do you say that I am?" - a reflection by Don Schwager
The Dangers of Words - Word Sunday: A Lectionary Resource for Catholics
One Bread, One Body -from
Kid's Gospel Pages from
Loyola Press Sunday Connection for families
• Thus far, what answers had been given to Jesus’ poll (verse 27; see also 3:21-22; 4:41; 6:3, 14-15)? How and why does the tone of Mark’s Gospel change after Peter’s declaration?
• What title does Jesus take on, and why (see Daniel 7:13-14)? What four things does he prophesy about the “Son of Man”?
• Why would Jesus rebuke Peter upon seeing his (Jesus’) disciples (verse 33)? How might your attitudes toward the ways that God acts affect others?
• In your experience, how can a person who wants to save his life actually lose it? How can a person who loses his life for the sake of Jesus actually save it? What do the verbs “saving” and “losing” mean in these paradoxes?
• How does the first reading (Isaiah 50:5-9a) reflect the attitude a disciple of Jesus must have?
• Where does Jesus’ way conflict with your way? What do you stand to lose by following Jesus? What do you stand to gain?
2009 Vince Contreras
Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics