Daily Reflection – Aug 27, 2017
Sunday 27 August 2017
First Reading:Isaiah 22:19-23
Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8
Second Reading:Romans 11:33-36
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-20
Today’s Note: Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.
He strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one. (Matthew 16:20)
When the disciples heard Jesus say, “Do not tell anyone what you know,” they must have been surprised. Over and over again, they saw Jesus teach and perform awe-inspiring miracles. Over and over again, they saw crowds of people hanging on his every word.
Surely the people already knew that Jesus was a great teacher, a prophet, and a miracle worker. Now that he had plainly told his apostles who he was, it only made sense that they would tell everyone else the good news. But Jesus told them to remain quiet. So once again we are confronted with an awkward truth: when it comes to Jesus, we have to learn how to think differently about almost everything.
Jesus sounded his warning because he knew that the people would want to make him their king. In fact, John’s Gospel tells us that this is exactly what happened after the multiplication of the loaves. But John also tells us that Jesus was quick to withdraw to the mountains because he knew that an earthly kingship was not what his Father wanted for him (6:15).
Of course Jesus is our King. But his kingdom is not based on miracles, parables, or the homage of excited crowds. He didn’t “earn” his crown by performing signs and wonders and by speaking prophetic words. No, that happened only when he died on a cross. It was his death, not his miracles, that brought life to the world.
Jesus didn’t want anything to get in the way of his mission, not even the admiration of the very people he had come to save. He knew he had come to offer a humble sacrifice, not to stage a political revolution, and he was determined to stay faithful to that calling.
May we all pray for the humility and the resolve to be like Jesus. May nothing distract us from the call to “be merciful” as our heavenly Father is merciful (Luke 6:36).
“Lord, I want to be like you. Give me a heart of humility and loving service.”