Peter’s profession of faith

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September 16, 2018 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: Is 50:5–9a 2nd Reading: Jas 2:14–18 Gospel: Mk 8:27–35 esus 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.” Then Jesus called the people and his disciples and said, “If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it; and if you lose your life for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel, you will save it. D@iGITAL EXPERIENCE (Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life

Experience)

Jesus examined the apostles about their own idea of him. Peter passed the scrutiny when he told Jesus, “You are the Messiah”. Unfortunately,

Jthe Messiah that Peter rightly confessed with his lips was not the kind of Messiah that his heart was willing to embrace. Thus when Jesus explained the sufferings he had to undergo Peter protested vehemently. He found sufferings incompatible with his concept of “Messiah”.

Today’s Gospel is about integral faith. The antonym of integral faith is split-level Christianity. One cannot abhor sufferings and pretend to love Christ wholeheartedly. Either one accepts Jesus as Messiah and acknowledges the role of suffering in Christian life, or he doesn’t accept Jesus at all. Embracing a “crossless” Christ offends the integrity of one’s faith.

We do not suffer for the sake of suffering. But there are occasions where suffering is inevitable, such as when other people use their freedom to do evil. The evil that they do could inflict untold sufferings upon us. We strive to stop the evil deeds and change them. If after employing active-non-violent means to convert them they still refuse to reform, the sufferings we bear lead us to Christ. In those moments of suffering we come to know that Jesus is truly the Messiah, not as Peter conceived what a Messiah should be, but as he truly is: Jesus Forsaken. —

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