This chapter talks about the importance of Peter in Mark’s Gospel and the significance of Jesus going to Capernaum to live. Just how important is Peter in Mark’s Gospel? Well, Gray says you could almost call it the Gospel of Peter, written by Mark! Peter is the primary witness giving the account of Jesus’ teachings and mission. Mark is Peter’s companion and makes sure that this firsthand account makes its way from oral to written testimony shortly after Peter is martyred.
Next Gray explains how the city of Capernaum, literally “village of consolation”, fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah. This small town between Zebulun and Nephtali would be prominent in the reversal of the misfortune of Israel and the restoration of the covenant.
While these two points were the focus of the chapter, it was Gray’s discussion of consolation that stood out for me. His recounting of the story of Fr. Claude Colombiere’s encounter with Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and Fr. Colombiere’s test of her veracity in claiming to see Jesus, demonstrate the depths of God’s forgiveness and mercy. What sin did Fr. Colombiere last confess? Jesus says, “I don’t remember!” As sinners, we need to seek out and trust in God’s forgiveness and mercy.
– Deacon Ralph
Feel free to comment on the questions below or on your thoughts from this chapter.
- How difficult is it for us to forget the times others have offended or hurt us? Is it even possible? How can we work at achieving this type of forgiveness??
- Grays say, “ The key to understanding the New Evangelization is the awareness that it’s not about what we do; it’s not about having the right program; in fact, it’s not about us at all. The “new thing”—not only for the Jews in Jesus’s time but also for us in the New Evangelization—is what God is doing.” Don’t we often adopt that same attitude when tasks and challenges are before us? How can we be open to letting God work through us? What needs to happen to our approach and attitude to “let go and let God?”
- Gray tells us how Peter’s home must have been very crowded due to all that would have been staying there with his family. He says that one morning, Jesus got up early and went off to pray alone. In the busyness of our lives we need both time to come together in prayer but also that all important alone time. How is that balance of prayer in your spiritual life? What do you find easier, personal prayer or communal prayer? Do you have a set time for prayer?