February 20, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 8:27-33

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

 Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):

            Today’s Gospel speaks about Jesus asking His disciples about how men think about him. And when He heard their answers, He eventually asked them the same question, ‘who do you think I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ.’ Jesus in this passage did not ask His disciples their opinion but to know how firm is their faith.

            In one of our recollections in the seminary, the topic was about who Jesus is for me. I was the one who were asked to share in the community and I still remember what I had said; ‘for me, Jesus is my bestfriend, a bestfriend who knows everything about me, a bestfriend who cares for me and loves me, bestfriend who journeys with me, and a bestfriend whom I share my life story with; my pains, my happiness, my frustrations, my all.

            I have to admit that my notion of Jesus as my bestfriend did not happen overnight. It took quite a while to learn that He could be a bestfriend; a true buddy, and a confidant. All I thought is that He is a God up there who only looks down on His people, no personal attachments and no intimacy. I realized that Jesus did not only looked down on me from heaven but rather, sat beside me when I was weeping in tears, carried me when I could not walk, supported me when I fell down, spoiled me with blessings to cheer me up, and many other things that a bestfriend could do. Then I finally realized that Jesus is indeed offering the best gift for me, His friendship, His ‘bestfriendship.’

            What about you? What is your notion about Jesus? Who do you think Jesus is? Most often than not, we have different answers because we have different encounters with Him. Cherish and nourish it, it is most probably the best gift that He could give.

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