Thursday of 18th week, even numbered year Jeudi de 18e semaine année paire

“Jesus began to ask the disciples : ’Who do people say that I am?’”
Wednesday 25 May 2016

Jr.31,31-34 Ps.50 Mt.16,13-23

Thursday of 18th Week , even numbered year "When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi he began to ask his disciples ’Who do people say that I am?’. They answered ’Some say John the Baptist; others Elijah; others again say Jeremiah or one of the Prophets.’

Jesus asked them ’And you, who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter spoke up and said ’You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!’

This episode of Simon Peter’s profession of faith marks a true turning point in Jesus’ public life. From this moment on, he will announce his Passion and Resurrection.

After so many sermons, healings and miracles, their idea of comparing Jesus to characters such as Jeremiah or Elijah whose return they are awaiting, is something very alive and present in them.

Simon’s response goes much further ,because he accepts to go beyond a personal judgement. ’Flesh and blood’ it is mankind left to his limits, the weight he bears, unable to accept any newness created by God.

With the courage and truth that characterize him, Jesus affronts the subject of his identity so that the situation becomes clearer!

Peter’s response doesn’t take long in coming, he speaks in the name of them all, and so God’s image and the One who sent Him is revealed to them.

“Then taking up the word Jesus said to Peter’ ’Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonas ; it is not flesh and blood that have revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. And I say unto you, You are Peter and upon this Rock I shall build my Church. And the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I shall give you the keys of the Kingdom; all that you tie on earth shall be tied in Heaven, all that you set loose on earth shall be set loose in heaven’. Then he ordered his disciples to say to anyone that it was He the Christ.”

’You are the Living God’ adds Simon Peter.

By this, he tries to put words on the mystery that fascinates him already in the Person of Jesus : Jesus acts, speaks, lives by the One he dares to call ’my Father.

Jesus tells him ’Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonas!’

This is the Beatitude of those who know how to take a step in faith. It is through the Father’s Revelation that we can discover who Jesus is!

Jesus’ sending off on Mission will be a secret of Love that only the Holy Spirit will be able to give a perception of, for we are really so far away from knowing the mystery of God’s Infinite Love.

"From that moment on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he was going to have to leave for Jerusalem, suffer greatly by the elders, the High priests and the scribes, be put to death and on the third day, rise again.

Taking Jesus apart, Peter rebuked him sharply saying : ’Surely not that Lord! This will never happen to you!’

But Jesus turned towards Peter and said to him ’Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle for me on the Way! Your thoughts are not those of God but of man.’

Simon Peter’s experience speaks to us very much. We have to stop bringing everything back to the proportions of our intelligence and to our hearts. We have to stop bargaining with our faith and confidence so as to dare say : ’You are the Christ, the Son of God, I place all my being into your hands.’

We need to be able to be taught by God who draws us towards Jesus, and not be embarrassed before his Passion.

We are living stones, inserted in the construction for the work commended to us.

Jesus’ Identity is one of the suffering servant! We ask for the grace to be found in agreement with God’s word which announces the suffering Jesus.

The Apostle Paul will speak about God’s Wisdom and the madness of mankind thus enlightening us concerning Jesus’ Cross that saves us.

We ask for the grace to know how to read the Word that speaks about Jesus’ Mission.