June 29, 2018
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
God for All
The Gospel Today
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
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.”
Reflection (Mr. Maximilian B. Estayo)
“But who do you say that I am?”
“Jesus” is the most abused word in Hollywood movies. The name most revered by people of all ages for some today is just an expression of exasperation. Talk about violating the second commandment and we are none the wiser to know it.
If we look back in time, there has really been this pattern of degrading this divine name. And we can take that as part of the continuing self-emptying of the Lord, who by making himself a man made himself subject to the ridicule of humanity.
For instance, heretics charged that he was merely a man, adopted by divine grace at birth, or that he was merely a creature subject to change. That is really the consequence of the incarnation – a God assuming the human form also assumes the limitations of this created being.
That is why, when one recognizes the divinity of Jesus, it cannot just come from the human heart. St. Paul tells the Corinthians, “…no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). And that was evident of Peter when he confessed that Jesus is the Messiah.
For us lesser mortals, our cognition of Jesus may vary, mostly a result of our special experiences with him. The trigger for my entering the seminary was really this word “beloved” that I saw in my prayers. Here is Jesus who took the initiative to call me a friend, someone cherished out of his pure love for me and none due to my own merits.
That is why, there is no doubt for me that Jesus is also my Lord, the Messiah who desires to bring the Good News and work out the salvation of everyone, worthy or unworthy before God.