Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Thursday 17th Week in Ordinary Time
July 31, 2014
Thursday 17th Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial, St. Ignatius of Loyola]
Dt 30:15-20 / 1 Tm 1:12-17 / Lk 9:18-26
Reading: Dt 30:15-20
See, I set before you on this day life and good, evil and death. I command you to love Yahweh, your God and follow his ways. Observe his commandments, his norms and his laws, and you will live and increase, and Yahweh will give you his blessing in the land you are going to possess. But if your heart turns away and does not listen, if you are drawn away and bow before other gods to serve them, I declare on this day that you shall perish. You shall not last in the land you are going to occupy on the other side of the Jordan. Let the heavens and the earth listen, that they may be witnesses against you. I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life that you and your descendants may live, loving Yahweh, listening to his voice, and being one with him. In this is life for you and length of days in the land which Yahweh swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
Gospel: Luke 9: 18-26
One day when Jesus was praying alone, not far from his disciples, he asked them, "What do people say about me?" And they answered, "Some say that you are John the Baptist; others say that you are Elijah, and still others that you are one of the former prophets risen from the dead." Again Jesus asked them, "Who then do you say I am?" Peter answered, "The Messiah of God." Then Jesus spoke to them, giving them strict orders not to tell this to anyone. And he added, "The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the elders and chief priests and teachers of the Law, and put to death. Then after three days he will be raised to life." Jesus also said to all the people, "If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it, and if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. What does it profit you to gain the whole world while you destroy or damage yourself? If someone feels ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Glory and in the Glory of his Father with his holy angels.
"Who do the crowds say that I am?" (Lk 9:18) Jesus asked a general question to his disciples to solicit impressions of the faceless crowd about him based on his works and deeds. And his disciples gave their responses that put him among the ranks of personalities in the prophetic tradition: "John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen." (Lk 9:19)
"But who do you say that I am?" (Lk. 9:20) Jesus asked the question again but this time a personalizing one. He gave faces to the addressees of his question by turning to his disciples. "Peter answered, 'The Messiah of God.'"(Lk 9:20) Peter's response is a profession of faith on the divine identity of Jesus. He is the Son of God who lived among them. God revealed Himself personally through the Son who called his disciples as friends. Jesus' offer of relationship was so irresistible that they abandoned their former lives to follow him. Jesus gave them new names to seal their belongingness in him. They encountered him who is Love himself. It is only through such encounter that Peter gave witness from the depths of his heart; "The Messiah of God." (Lk. 9: 20)
But who do you say that I am? It is the same question that Jesus asks us today. It calls not for an academic answer but a profession of the identity of Jesus grounded on a lived-experience of our faith in God through His Son in the Holy Spirit. Our profession of the divinity of Christ, "the Messiah of God" (Lk. 9: 20a), will bring us back to our experiences of God's personal love and mercy in our lives. Our profession of faith in Jesus, the Christ, is a celebration of our relationship with Love himself. It is a memory of gratitude in our hearts for God's initiative to call us into his friendship.
But who do you say that I am? A corollary to this question is "Who am I?" As we profess Jesus as the Christ, we also embrace ourselves as sinners. We are sinners seeking for the merciful love of God and struggling to remain in the faithfulness of God's love. As we grapple with this existential question, we are confronted with our deepest hunger lurking in our hearts - the personal love of God.
Our hunger for God becomes palpably real whenever we are under our life's "limit situation." It is an experience of losing hold of things that give us our sense of security. Instead, it plunges us into an abyss of fears and anxieties. A "limit situation" makes us reach out for the hand of God; and God reaches out His hand to us. Even before we find Him in our seeking, He has already found us.
Today, we allow ourselves to be lost in the presence of God and be found by Him in His great mercy and love.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the birthday intentions
* Helen Tan
* Gio de Guzman
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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