Sunday, August 27, 2017

Who do you say that I am?

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"   They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."   He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"  Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."   Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.   For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.  And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."   Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.  Mathew 16: 13 – 20

Today’s gospel happens to be a personal favorite of mine.  It is the gospel that I used for my religious profession some thirty years ago.  The question that Jesus posed to Peter is one that we often struggle to answer.  I believe that it is Peter’s response that gives us hope to persevere in the quest to follow Jesus.  Peter is the disciple who Jesus loved and chose to be our first Pope.  I don’t believe that Peter ever thought that Jesus would make him the leader of the new Church.  Peter proved his love and admiration of Jesus many times and at other times seemingly came up short.  As we look at this question today let us take time to formulate our response to Jesus’ question of who do you say that I am?

Pat Schifini, OSU

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