Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Thursday 18th Week in Ordinary Time

August 7, 2014
Thursday 18th Week in Ordinary Time
[St. Sixtus II and companions; St. Cajetan]

Jer 31: 31-34 / Ps 51: 12-13, 14-15, 18-19 / Mt 16: 13-23

Reading: Jer 31: 31-34
The time is coming - it is Yahweh who speaks - when I will forge a new covenant with the people of Israel and the people of Judah. It will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. For they broke my covenant although I was their Lord. This is the covenant I shall make with Israel after that time: I will put my Law within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people. And they will not have to teach each other, neighbor or brother, saying: 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the greatest to the lowliest, for I will forgive their wrongdoing and no longer remember their sin."

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-23
After that Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of man is?" They said, "For some of them you are John the Baptist, for others Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets." Jesus asked them, "But you, who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "It is well for you, Simon Barjona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. And now I say to you: You are Peter (or Rock) and on this rock I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven." Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. From that day Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem; he would suffer many things from the Jewish authorities, the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. He would be killed and be raised on the third day. Then Peter took him aside and began to reproach him, "Never, Lord! No, this must never happen to you." But Jesus turned to him and said, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path. You are thinking not as God does, but as people do."

In the gospel reading, Jesus asks his disciples first who other people say he is. Then he asks them who they themselves say he is. He wants to know if their answer is different since they have been following him closely unlike the other people. It is Simon Barjona (Peter's original name) who acknowledges Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus recognizes that Simon's answer has been inspired by the Holy Spirit, so he gives him a new name, Peter, which means "rock" and proceeds to proclaim Peter head of the Church. Changing Simon's name to Peter signifies his new identity, the holder of the key of heaven, the first Pope of the Church founded by Christ, a Church that will last till the end of time because it is built on solid foundation. When Jesus tells his apostles about his going to Jerusalem where he will suffer and die, Peter stops him. Who would want his master to be killed? But Jesus calls him Satan because he is an obstruction to his mission. Peter may have known who Jesus is, but up till then, he has not understood Jesus' mission.
We too may fall victim to a deceptive mentality caused by our lack of faith in God's way of accomplishing His plan. As we go through our journey of faith, we get to understand who Jesus is and his ways only if we accept with humility the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in us.

Prayer Requests:
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

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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