February 22, 2017
Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
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 (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)
When Jesus asked the question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” it is like asking me, “What is my relation with you?” Whenever somebody would ask for a person, the usual answer is connected with his relations – son of certain couple, connected with a clan, a friend of someone, etc. But, today’s Gospel is not just asking Who Jesus is to me? or How do I treat Jesus in my life?. It is How is my relationship with Him?
At first, I will answer that He is my friend, He is my God, and so on, but the question is on a deeper sense. How is Jesus integrated in my life – the deeper relationship that I have? As a seminarian, this has been a challenge for me because I am formed to be deeply connected with Jesus. I am pursuing the priesthood that He shared to us. That is why, whenever I am attending the Holy Eucharist or even the Eucharistic adoration, I try to be immersed with that moment with God.
Another scenario is whenever we are outside the four walls of the seminary, “How do I live out that relationship with Jesus?” It is easy to disregard my prayer time. It is easy to skip any responsibility in the Parish because nobody is monitoring. But why do we keep doing these things? Only one thing can be the answer, because we love God.
Relationship should be concretized by our actions. Because not doing so is hypocrisy. This might be the need of the Church that people are asking from us – congruence or aligned action to our identity (which is our relation with God).
God does not need anyone for He is already complete. But in His humility, He revealed Himself to us in order for us to have a relation with Him. He initiated the invitation. How do we respond to it? What are the concrete manifestations of these responses? God has entrusted the Church to St. Peter. The Church is the extension of God’s relationship to man. We are members of this Church. Thus, we should also have a deeper relationship with her. There are many ways to express it. It is our turn now to answer that same question with St. Peter, “Who do you say that the Son of Man is?”