Who is Jesus for me?
In the gospel reading, Peter comes forward to answer Jesus’ question, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It was a commendable answer from Peter. With such response, Jesus sees in him a rock on which He can build His Church. Peter is given an important role by Jesus for his Church. Yet almost immediately, Peter, the rock, becomes a stumbling stone for Jesus. When Jesus explains the kind of Messiah He will be, namely, one who is to suffer gravely and be put to death, Peter rebukes Jesus and tries to deflect him from this path.
There are times when I am like Peter, a stumbling stone, an obstacle on Jesus’ path, simply because I am not thinking according to God’s way. In the seminary, I am guilty of trying to avoid difficulties whenever possible. Sometimes, it is tempting to choose the more effortless and comfortable way to do my community task. I lack confidence in accepting more responsibilities because my thoughts limit what I can do and I do not trust enough that God will not forsake me. All I need is to give the best of my ability, to surrender everything to God, and most specially to grow my faith in Jesus.
In the Gospel, Jesus reminded Peter in no uncertain terms that he had a lot to learn. I realized that humans as we are, we all have a lot more to learn about and from Jesus. For me, the invitation is to constantly surrender to who Jesus is in all his mysterious reality rather than try to shape him by our wishes.
By: Sem. Glicerio T. Tano
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.”