Through Grace and By Grace

Who is God to you?

Each of us has a distinct image of God we cling to ever since we were children. I remember viewing God as a supernatural being who is constantly watching what I am doing and is ready to reward me when I do good things and punish me if I do otherwise. I also remember seeing Him like a genie who is there to listen to my prayers and grants them with a flick of a finger. Perhaps some of us view him as a banker, a money machine, an aggressive father, etc. But as my professor puts it, all that we have mentioned above are “false images of God.” Perhaps some of these false images may be attributed to Him, but these do not define who He really is. Christian maturity challenges us to allow these false images of God to be shattered so that a clearer and more vivid image of Him will be unveiled right in front of our eyes.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus asked Peter who people think He was. Peter answered that some think He was “John the Baptizer, the prophet Elijah, or one of the Old Testament prophets.” But when Jesus asked Peter who Jesus is to him, Peter was quick to answer that He is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus did not tell Peter these things, but he was able to profess this heavenly truth through the grace of God. This is an invitation for us as well to pray for the grace that we may be able to recognize Jesus in our lives, how He works, how He makes Himself manifest in us, and that we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may be able to confidently profess our faith in Him.

By: Sem. John Paul T. Toting

Today’s Gospel

Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
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.”

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