Daily Reflection – Aug 4, 2016
Thursday 4 August 2016
First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34
Create a clean heart in me, O God
Psalm 50(51):12-15, 18-19
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-23
Today’s Saint: St John Vianney, Priest (Memorial)
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.”
‘You are the Christ, son of the living God.’
How firm is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? At an opportune time Jesus tested his disciples with a crucial question: Who do men say that I am and who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:13). Jesus was widely recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God, even being compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. Peter, always quick to respond, exclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.
God gifted Peter with absolute recognition of Jesus as the Christ. Because he was blessed in this special way, he was an obvious choice for leadership of the faltering community. Over the centuries, Peter’s famous replies and behaviour have endeared him to us with their simple spontaneous power. Peter was so clear and confident of his new friend. He sensed the joy that Jesus offered and was ready to be part of that journey. Jesus offered new life and hope. Pope Francis exhorts us to be joyful as a pilgrim church. The binding and loosing of the centuries remain in place, but the Pope asks us all to move with a stance of mercy. Mercy is offered not as a demand, but as a gift, and now the world is breathing and smiling. It is a wonderful thing to take a breather of God’s grace.
“Lord Jesus, I profess and believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. You are my Lord and my Savior who has set me free from sin and deception. Make my faith strong like the Apostles Peter and Paul and give me boldness to speak of you to others that they may come to know you as Lord and Savior.”