Recognize, Reflect, Respond

08 August 2019. Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest

Reflection (Sem. Glicerio T. Tano)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter responds, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” However, Jesus emphasizes that those words come from the Heavenly Father.  He made them realize that the presence of God is always at work in their midst.

God the Father is mysteriously at work in people’s lives. He is present in times of troubles, disappointments, sufferings, hardships, chaos, among others. He always reveals Himself and communicates the truth. These revelations and works of Him are difficult to recognize yet He is still communicating to His people although we often disregard His presence.

            Reflecting on it, I remember one of my significant experiences in my seminary formation where I experienced chaos. There was a time when I experienced dryness in my prayer and community life. It came to the point that I became not inspired in doing daily routines. That was the time when I turned away from God and failed to recognize His presence in my problem. However, He used people to be an instrument of His abiding presence. He revealed his Holiness through them to make me whole again.

            As a priest-in-process, I am moved to enter into the chaos of others in responding to His love and to be an instrument of His presence in every person I encounter. To enter the chaos of others is to accompany them, and to be willing to gamble with a love expansive enough to hold within its embrace the sorrow and loss of another until he or she can walk straight again. “God enters into our chaos and makes us whole again”.

The Gospel Today

Matthew 16: 13 – 23

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.”

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