Reading Reflections Twenty-fourth Sunday Gospel B

By 11:25 AM


Now Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others, Elijah, still others one of the prophets.”

·         Caesarea Philippi was rebuilt by Herod Philip and dedicated to the emperor, Caesar. There was another Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast.           

·         These were the popular opinions circulating about the identity of Jesus. But Jesus was more interested in whom did the disciples say he was.           

And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Who is Jesus to you? How did you see Jesus ten years ago? How do you see Jesus today? What has made the difference?

Peter said to him in reply, "You are the Messiah." 

·         Though Peter gave the right response, he did not fully comprehend its true meaning.         

·         How did Peter see Jesus when Jesus first encountered him? What has made the difference in Peter’s present understanding of Jesus?        

·         Will Peter’s understanding of his statement that Jesus was the Messiah change after the resurrection? How so?         

Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him. 

·         Why did Jesus tell them not to tell anyone about him yet? What has not happened for the fuller understanding of what it meant for Jesus to be Messiah to be clearer?        

He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.  He spoke this openly.

·         Notice Jesus says the he “must” suffer for it is the Divine plan of the Father for the salvation of the world. Jesus freely chooses to embrace the will of the Father.         

·         Jesus takes Peter’s confession and gives the right understanding. He was not a political Messiah but one who would give his life for the salvation of the world.  

·         This is the first of three predictions of Jesus’ upcoming suffering and death and resurrection which he shares with the disciples. Why do you think he does this three different times?      

Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." 

·         Peter did not want to publicly rebuke Jesus in front of the others. But Jesus was not going to so spare Peter. He had overstepped the boundary between disciple and Master.       

·         Why does Jesus call Peter, Satan? Would you be shaken if Jesus said this to you? 

·         Do we sometimes think not as God does but in the ways of others?            

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”

·         How do you apply this teaching of Jesus in your own life? What is Jesus asking of you at this time of your spiritual journey?

What part of this reflection has touched you the most?

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