The Gospel Today
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He rebuked them
and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Reflection (Sem. Nelson Maningas):
In one of the interviews I had, I was asked: “Who is Jesus for you?” I answered: He is my best friend. Perhaps many would also say the same when they were asked the same or to some Jesus could be their savior or their master and many other answers that you can imagine that would speak about Jesus as one knows about Him. Even the apostles during their time were asked the same question by Jesus Himself, and they gave answers different from one another’s answer. But when Peter was asked he gave an answer that perhaps amazed the other apostles and even Jesus Himself was impressed, for it was what Jesus really have to experience, His being the Messiah and the imminent suffering and death Jesus has to endure was not yet revealed to the apostles until it was revealed by the Father through Peter.
We might have different notions about the person-hood of Jesus and who He really is in our life. It could be based on what we have learned from our religion class or from what we heard from the homilies and talks. It could also be through someone else’s words. But how do we know Jesus based on our experience and encounter with Him in our daily trials and in the way we relate with others? Have we become real friends of Jesus or we are just mere followers of Him just because we want to benefit from His goodness? Let us learn more about Him and face the challenge of the “Year of Faith” by knowing, living and sharing our faith. Let us follow Him as He calls us to deny ourselves, carry our crosses daily and follow Him in love and humility.