Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in the Ordinary Time
Reading 1: 2 Cor. 9. 6-10; Gospel: Matthew 16:13-23
Today’s Gospel contains two themes namely Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah and Jesus’ prediction of his passion, death and resurrection. Jesus, after having spent considerable amount of his time doing public ministry with the disciples, raises a question to know what people say about Him. “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” For this the disciples spontaneously, without hesitation give various answers as Elijah, John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets and so on. After this, Jesus goes on to ask the next question and that was very personal. Who do you (my close collaborators) say that I am? Probably, Jesus wanted their understanding of Him after having witnessed his works and known him personally. What is surprising is that it is Peter who jumps in with a convincing answer as if he had known it ‘by heart’. “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God.” This personal response of Peter pleases the Lord. After that Jesus addresses him as ‘Blessed’ and entrusts him immense responsibilities, making him the foundation stone of His Church. May our personal encounter with Lord in the Word and the Eucharist help us to know who Christ is for us ‘by heart’.