Gospel: Mk 8:27-33
Jesus set out with his disciples for the villages around Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?“ And they told him, “Some say, you are John the Baptist; others say, you are Elijah or one of the prophets.“
Then Jesus asked them, “But you, who do you say I am?“ Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.“ And he ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man had to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law. He would be killed, and after three days rise again. Jesus said all this quite openly, so that Peter took him aside and began to protest strongly. But Jesus, turning around, and looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are thinking not as God does, but as people do.“
God gives us our food
After the flood, God renews the blessing for man and creation and issues a “new food law.“ Whereas before the fall of man God had ordained a “vegetarian diet“ for man, after the fall of man, God now allows even a “meat diet“ for man!
But there is a caveat to God’s new food law. Man could not eat the meat with its blood! God gives a reason, namely: inasmuch as life is in the blood and all life is sacred, God ordained abstinence from blood so that man may be reminded to respect all life! In the New Testament this food law will cease to have its binding legal force, like other similar ritual laws of the Jews (purification laws and dietary laws–see Mark 7).
Whether we follow a vegetarian diet or we prefer a meat diet, however, is not the issue. At the core of this food law we see that we have a God who provides our food. In our prayer before and after meals we recognize that we receive all from the bountiful goodness of God. Yes, we give thanks to the Lord for his providence of food for us!