Who do you say that I am?

Published August 4, 2022, 12:02 AM

by Manila Bulletin


In a world characterized by the value of honor and shame, Jesus was greatly esteemed by the people. They saw in him John the Baptist who has returned to life, Elijah who would someday return (Mal 3:23), or one of the revered prophets of old. But Peter, taught by divine revelation, confesses that Jesus is something more: he is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Jesus reciprocates Peter’s profession of faith by making him the rock-foundation of his Church and by entrusting to him the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, with the power of “binding and loosing.” But immediately Jesus disabuses Peter of his idea of a glorious, political messiah. Rather, Jesus will take the role of the Suffering Servant of God who by his wounds people are healed (Is 53:5).

Gospel • Matthew 16:13-23

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.

Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.