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September 12, 2021

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DG BookGospel: Mk 8:27-35
Jesus set out with his disciples for the villages around Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
And they told him, “Some say you are John the Baptist; others say you are Elijah or one of the prophets.” Then Jesus asked them,
“But you, who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” And he ordered them not to tell anyone about him.


Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man had to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of
the Law. He would be killed and after three days rise again. Jesus said all this quite openly, so that Peter took him aside and began to protest strongly.
But Jesus turning around, and looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter saying, “Get behind me Satan! You are thinking not as God does, but as people do.”

 

Lectio Divina:

READ: Jesus while doing His ministry around Caesarea Philippi asks His disciples
regarding the people’s opinion about Him. There were various reactions from
the people, classifying Jesus as John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets of
old. When He asks His disciples about their opinion about Him, Peter proclaims
Him the Messiah. He ordered them not to tell anyone and begins to disclose His
future fate. Peter protests strongly but Jesus rebukes Him telling all His disciples
that their fate too will be similar to His but that is where they will find eternal life.


REFLECT: Now that Jesus has established a fine reputation in all of Israel as a fine
preacher and a miracle worker, He wants to know the opinion of people about
Him. The answers given Him of who do people say He is, is quite expected. In
Him, the people thinks that the dawn of prophetic voice has come after being
silent for more than four hundred years. But for His closest friends like the Twelve,
He is more than a prophet. For friends have more access to the inner realities
of each other. That is why Peter could say that Jesus is the Messiah. But still,
persons are mysteries to fathom. Peter’s idea of a Messiah does not square off
with Jesus’ self-understanding of Himself. Peter and the rest of the disciples may
have harbored an earthly Messiah with all the trappings of power and authority.
But for Jesus, the Messiah suffers and dies for His people that they may have life.
That is why Peter objected to this type of Messiah. Jesus rebukes Him. Then He
reminded everyone not to seek for earthly glory but find it in the crosses that
each of them will carry for His sake.


RESPOND: We sometimes have a triumphalist notion of our faith. We love to
show off and revel in the pomp and pageantry of our faith expressions. But Jesus
in His life time was never a fan of this display of trappings of power and authority.
He rather emphasized service and love as the cornerstone of His ministry. Maybe
today we have to review our tendencies when it comes to following Jesus. It is not
late for us to align our thoughts with Jesus’ thoughts on the notion of leadership.

 

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