June 29, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Mt. 16:13-19

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 (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):

Jesus said to them, “But who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  I remember this question was asked to me during the interview while I was applying in the seminary.  “Who is Jesus for me?”  And I can still clearly recall my answer.  Jesus is my Savior.  It just blurted out from me that He is my Savior.  There was no best answer that I could give except to say that Jesus saved me.

I already have said in some of my reflections sharing about my past life.  I am a sinner, a big time sinner.  But despite the sins that I committed, God has been so good to me and He blessed me with so many good things in life.  When I say good things, I do not pertain only to material matters although I must say that God is indeed generous to me in terms of material blessings.  Aside from this, I am blessed with so much love from my family and friends, I used to have a very successful career, and I was given the opportunity to serve God in our parish.  It was almost a happy life except that behind all these blessings, I was living a very sinful life.  And being sinful brought me to profound loneliness which eventually led me to prayer.  God saved me from a surely destructive life.  Had He not touched my heart, had I not heard Jesus’ call, I would have totally gone astray.  In prayer I heard Jesus’ voice.  Prayer brought me back to light.  In this light, I heard Jesus calling me to follow Him.  And so I heed the call.  Here I am now, a priest in process.  I have been saved by Jesus.

The gospel today is an invitation for us to know who Jesus is in our life.  It is important for us to know this for us to become effective witnesses of God’s Words. blessings, our response is but to praise and glorify God. And we cannot hide our joyful disposition. It will surely be manifested to other people, and will certainly inspire others. Like the leper who announced immediately that he was healed, we too, as we are blessed, should do the same for the glory of God, in Jesus Christ who has been with us in all our days.

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