Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
What a profound statement of faith! Whenever I hear this Gospel it always amazes me that Peter, a simple fisherman, declares with absolute certainty that this itinerant preacher is the Messiah. But of course Peter goes on to prove his lack of faith by not accepting Jesus’ teaching.
So often I am more like the second Peter, lacking faith, not understanding God’s ways. I wish I were more like the first Peter and could recognize, with absolute clarity, the presence of God in the world. To be able to see Christ in another person or in an act of kindness or even within myself. Sometimes I need that rainbow in the clouds or a smile from a stranger to recognize the awesome presence of Christ.
Let us pray that we can keep our eyes and our hearts open to see Christ in our beautiful, messed-up world.
—Margaret Horner earned a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee. She currently serves as the Director of Liturgy at Gesu Parish, Milwaukee, WI.
You are all we have. You give us what we need.
Our lives are in your hands, O Lord, our lives are in your hands!
—Francis Patrick O’Brien, © 1992, GIA Publications, Inc.