June 29, 2020

Gospel MT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
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.”

Reflection

Jesus is on the final leg of His human journey; He will soon arrive in Jerusalem to face the cross. If, after His death, Jesus’ message of the Father’s love and forgiveness is to survive and flourish, it is crucial that His followers recognize Him as the Son of God.

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.”

Peter, the man who walked on water at Jesus’ command and then sank beneath the waves when his faith faltered. Peter who denied Christ three times. Peter who took Jesus aside and rebuked Him when He told the Apostles that He must die on the cross; “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

In Peter’s time of failure and sin, the heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is filled with love and concern for him. Peter’s failings and sins reveal the forgiving character of Jesus Christ and of God.

In spite of Peter’s denials and weaknesses, Jesus makes Peter the Rock upon which He builds His church. Peter’s deep belief and conviction that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah could only have come from God.

God’s love for us is never more intense than in our times of weakness and sin.

Jesus does not count our sins and failings against us. Instead, He calls each of us to believe, and proclaim as Peter did, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

“The mission of every Christian is to make known the love of Christ.” Unknown