The Gospel Today
Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week 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; others, Elijah;
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Carmelo V. Pocdol)
During my four years in college, I made use of my vacant time as a volunteer catechist of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Iligan City. I taught Grades 4 and 5 students about basic prayers, bible stories, Sacraments and about Jesus Christ. Considering that the students were from a public school, I was aware that they had limited time (our schedule was only 40 minutes, once a week), for their learning experience about said topics.
With that, it was very evident during classes that they wanted to learn more. They manifested it through listening attentively, participating actively during class activities and asking many relevant questions. They also often requested me to stay longer (to which their teacher consented). I felt the hunger of these young minds for knowledge about Jesus and the Church. My time with them also prepared them to receive their first Holy Communion.
If those students would be asked “who do you say that I am?” by Jesus Himself, just as He asked the disciples in today’s Gospel, I would not know what their answers would be. What I would be certain is that they would answer as honestly as they could based on their faith journey.
Teaching the students to know more about Christ and preparing them to receive Jesus in the Holy Communion were a few of the reasons that made me happy during my college years as I was also searching for my vocation in life. I was happy because I shared my knowledge and faith with the young. Every time I meet and see my former students, I can still sense the warmth of their accommodation and I can still remember their highly impressionable and receptive minds.
The question of Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” is very important to me as I continue my seminary journey. The question invites me to know more who Jesus is, to find and see Him in every person that I come in contact with, and in the end feel His unconditional love more.