Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunday August 24th You are the Christ

(A biblical reflection on the 21st ORDINARY SUNDAY (Year A), 24 August 2014)
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-20
First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23; Psalms: Psalm 138:1-3,6,8; Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then He strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ. (Mt 16:13-20 RSV)
The Gospel of Matthew deals with the question of faith, especially in chapters 13:53-17:27. In today’s Gospel we come to a point of climax as Peter proclaims that Jesus is“the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). The Hebrew word “Messiah”means “the anointed one”; its Greek translation is Christos, Christ in English.
PETRUS - 1 PEGANG DUA KUNCIIn Matthew’s account, Peter called Jesus “the Son of the living God,” a title not found in Mark’s account of this incident (see Mark 8:29). Some scripture scholars, comparing these two versions, conjecture that Mark may have preserved Peter’s original words while Matthew drew on a slightly later, more mature understanding of the nature of Jesus in the early Church. Thus, moved by the Holy Spirit, he provided a fuller description of who Jesus really is. This is an important point for us to note: Faith is not static; it is meant to grow and develop and should never become stagnant.
There is always more that God wants to reveal to us. He wants our faith to continue to grow to the point that we can make a proclamation like Peter’s. It is one thing to recognize Jesus as a “Messiah,” a prophet anointed by God to save His people. But there is a far greater depth involved in understanding Jesus as God, possessing all the attributes of the god-head, equal in every way to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
We could never – not even in a hundred lifetimes – reach the limits of understanding of God. There is always more to learn, more areas in which to grow; and only God can grant us that growth. Who indeed can fully know the mind of God? What could we ever give Him that would lead us to expect anything in return (see Romans 11:34-35)? Only God can give us knowledge of who Jesus is. Only He can move us to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. Only He can reveal Jesus, the Son of the living God. This knowledge should be continually growing and leading us to seek Him, arousing in us the desire to understand Him better, and making us long for the fullness of revelation that will be ours when we are with Him for all eternity.
Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, You alone are true God, perfect good, all good, every good, the true and supreme good, You alone are good, loving and gentle. Grant me a fresh revelation of Your Son, Jesus, so I can know Him more, and can share His love to others. Amen.
Jakarta, 22 August 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

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