Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1Gn 9:1-13, Gospel Mk 8:27-33
Jesus took his disciples to the area of Caesarea Philippi in northern Israel. In that pagan territory, Jesus asked his disciples who they believed him to be. While the people regarded Jesus as just another prophet, Peter professed his belief that Jesus was the Messiah, the one who would bring salvation. This episode marked a turning point in the disciples’ understanding of Jesus’ role and mission, but they still did not have full comprehension of him. Then Jesus revealed what it meant to be God’s anointed one. He told them that he would be rejected, suffer and die for the sins of the people. Peter had difficulty accepting a suffering Messiah, and Jesus warned him that he was allowing Satan to cloud his mind and impede God’s will. Anyone who wished to follow Jesus must not be a stumbling stone on the way to the cross. They must get behind Jesus, take up the cross, and share in his struggles and sufferings.
In our lives too, we can see how we shy away from acclaiming the presence of Jesus and in faith see him working in us. Further we find it so hard to utter the name of Jesus in public in the fear of offending someone. Jesus asks us to proclaim him. He says in his word that those who affirm him, he will affirm before his Father in heaven. Let us ask Jesus for the grace to be bold in our proclamation of him in our lives.