"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philip'pi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ."
From Limerick Diocese weekly newsletter:
It is important to know what the church teaches, what society says, what is news and what is everlasting. All these things inform us. In fact, Jesus begins his teaching today by asking this - who do 'people' say I am? Whats the general opinion? whats the consensus? ... Then he takes it to the next level:
‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’
After all the words, all the information, all the noise and opinions ... what do you believe? where do you stand? Do you have an answer? I wonder if any of the apostles felt a little shocked or upset at the question? They were following him, wasn't that enough! Why did they have to articulate it like this?
We live in a world full of noise and information and ideas. We are easily manipulated into agreeing or disagreeing with the prevailing stories. We are advertised to, preached at, entertained. Sometimes its hard to slow down and know what is really our opinion, our belief.
Jesus challenges us today with this question "Who do you say I am?". He does not ask it because he is unsure, he asks because he wants to know what you've learnt, how you're developing in faith.
Heres your homework this week then: In one paragraph, with only your own words and no quotes, answer Jesus question. Then bring that answer to some fellow Christians and share your thoughts. Don't be afraid to struggle with the question - its a sign you're going deeper. Ask Gods help in prayer, that God might reveal to you what is true and good and divine.
You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical odds and ends
Saints of the Week
25th August - St Louis of France
27th August - St Monica
28th August - St Augustine
29th August - The Beheading of St John the Baptist
30th August - St Fiacre