August 24,2014

The Gospel Today

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 16:13-20

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.

Reflection (Sem. Emmanuel Calumpong):

How do you really know a person?  Well of course it always starts by knowing his or her name.  But it does not end there.  Because if you really want to know the person, you have to also know a  lot more about him or her: family background, work, likes and dislikes, birthdate, etc.  In other words, it takes to be intimate with the person for you to know him or her.

I believe that  intimacy with a person can be manifested by the way how one calls the other.  For example, husbands and wives call each other “dear”, “darling”, “honey”, and the like.  Boyfriends and girlfriends call each other “sweetheart”, or “love”  and friends use “best”. “bff”, “’tol”, “friend”, among others.  Suffice it to say, those who really know and are intimate with each other give so much importance to how they are called by name.

Since I was a kid, my family, relatives, neighbors, classmates from elementary and high school and especially my friends, call me “Boyet”.  And I  would say that these were the very people who really knew me and have grown intimate with. But when I started going to college and especially when I was already working, people started calling me “Emman”.  That is why today, whenever somebody calls me “Boyet” while in public or in places where I do not expect someone to know me, I am always sure that he or she is a relative, a neighbor or a friend back then.  Because these are the people who still call me by the name which gives connection between us and all the memories and relationships that go with it.

And tomorrow’s Gospel is no different.  Peter called Jesus by a name that only he would know.  It was because Peter had known Jesus in all those times that he was with Him. He was already so intimate with his Master that God revealed unto him who Jesus really is. And likewise, Jesus knew Peter so much that He called him the “Rock”  to whom He entrusted  His Church and even gave the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.

How about us? How much do we know Jesus our Lord and Savior? Who do we say that He is?

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