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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Thursday in the 18th Week of Ordinary Time Download This Homily

August 8, 2019

Thursday in the 18th Week of Ordinary Time

 

Num 20:1-13

Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-7, 7d-9

Mt: 16:13-23


Gospel Reading

 

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and 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." Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.


From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

 

Reflection

 

Who Do You Say That I Am?

 

 Jesus asks two questions to his disciples in the gospel today.  The first: "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And the second: "But who do you say that I am?" The disciples answer the first question by listing a few names from the past; John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah.  Peter answers the second question: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus confirms it by praising insight of Peter and bestowing upon him "the keys of the kingdom." But the answer is just the beginning.

 

 Response of Jesus to Peter indicates that his identity as Messiah is not obvious by way of human insight. This is worth noting since we, the present day Christians, may understandably take Peter’s answer as apparent. But according to the gospel of Matthew, the answer is a matter of discernment of Peter of divine revelation and not obvious to "flesh and blood”.

 

In first-century Judaism, there was no single understanding of "messiah." The Hebrew masihah, from which we get the English "messiah," means "anointed." A messiah was one anointed by God for a special purpose. A messiah could be a prophet or a king, perhaps a warrior, or perhaps not.  In the gospel narrative, Peter identifies Jesus as Messiah, but the meaning of that role has yet to be revealed. It is one thing to perceive a messianic vocation. It is another matter to know precisely how the vocation will evolve, since that vocation is lived out in human history.  Even today although the revelation in Jesus is complete, we have not been able to comprehend it fully.  We need divine assistance to fathom that revelation.

 

Even otherwise it is the father who reveals who Jesus is and it is Jesus who will reveal who the Father is. We can know the divine only through the divine graciousness.

 

Fr. Cyril Kuttiyanickal CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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