“YOU ARE THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD.” MT 16:13-23
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
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.” MT 16:13-23
Jesus asks a very important question today. One that no other religious leader ever asked his/her followers according to Bishop Barron. “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Ontology means the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.
Jesus asks the disciples what His nature of being is or existence. This is the most important question for every human being that we all begin to ask at a young age. Who am I? Why do I exist? What am I doing here? What am I supposed to do? We live in a world where identity is lost or the culture in America glorifies narcissism (excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance). This is the topic of the first few chapters of Matthew Kelly’s book “Rediscovering Catholicism”.
We find our identity in God, our Creator, in our heart where He dwells (prayer in silence), where He reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures. We find Him in the Sacraments where He transforms us into other Christs. We find Him in each other. We find our meaning and purpose in God.
Ask Him why He made you. Jesus’s purpose: to die and rise to save humanity, to show us who God is, and be a model of holiness for us to follow. Who is He? ”You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The long awaited Messiah that the Jews had been waiting for according to the Torah and all of the prophets. Jesus Christ is open and straight forward about who He is.
Second, Jesus assigns the first leader or pope of His Church. ”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.” We can trace our leadership in the Church back to Peter from Pope Francis who is the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The netherworld still has not prevailed against the Church which is lead by the Holy Spirit through Baptized Christians.
The pope has a special place in the Church and we should always ask God to send the Holy Spirit to guide the pope and the Church. We make up the Mystical Body of the Church and each of us has a special mission in this time and in this place. Search out your identity, ask Jesus to reveal it to you in prayer from the heart, and become a saint through that mission. It is what we are made for! God has big plans for you and your life right where you are!
Today’s challenge: Find your identity, your gifts, how to love the way Christ loves, and then give it away. This is our mission as a baptized person in Christ and to become a saint (enter heaven to be with the heavenly Father, our Creator forever). Pray for the pope by asking the Holy Spirit to guide him.
Be a servant, become a saint!