Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Thursday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time
04 August 2016
Thursday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time
St. John Marie Vianney, Priest
Jer 31:31 – 34 / Mt 16:13 – 23
St. John Baptiste Marie Vianney (1786 – 1859), born in Lyons, France, spent almost his entire priestly life as the parish priest of Ars. Pope Pius XI proclaimed him Patron of Parish Priests.
Gospel Reading: Mt 16:13 - 23
After that Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked his disciples, "What do people say of the Son of Man? Who do they say I am?" 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 on 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 would have me stumble. You are thinking not as God does. But as people do."
In the Gospel reading it seemed so easy for Peter to reply "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." When asked, "but you, who do you say I am?" Jesus affirms that Peter's confession of faith needed God's assistance: "for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you but my Father in heaven." Peter's confession follows his personal experience of the very person of Jesus, of time spent with him as his follower, disciple and friend.
Following Peter's confession, Jesus promises him greater responsibility: "You are Peter (or Rock) and on this rock I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it."
As followers of Jesus, we too are asked the same question, "But you, who do you say I am?" What would our answer be? Who is Jesus for us?
Let us pray for God's grace for a firm and solid faith in the Lord Jesus.
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