Bro. Ian Granada
This is the perennial question we hear year in and year out as we hear Masses. At first glance, almost everybody can answer this question with ease as anybody can knows things about Jesus. As Christians today, it would be interesting to know and survey what would be our reply to this question in relation to Jesus’ identity and our answer to it.
The Gospel today affirms our Faith in Jesus as the context of the Gospel leads us to surmise that Peter’s community or the audience of the Gospel of Mark have established already this creed on the identity of Jesus. With the second reading in hindsight, we can have a bird’s eye view of the first Christian community and lifestyle. Their Faith in Jesus as the Messiah is not mere lip-service but a life-changing vocation to serve and love others concretely in daily life.
In the same Gospel, we hear Jesus foretelling also his passion, death, and resurrection of which Peter does not approve. “Get behind me, Satan!” Jesus is telling Peter.
I can still remember when my father was suffering gravely from Diabetes. His body, frail and weak from the onslaught of the effects of Diabetes, is worsening day after day, week after week, month after month. It was a painful sight for me to witness this as I visit my father. I prayed he lived longer. Because of my fear of death and separation, I do not want my father to die.
Like Peter, I became a stumbling block for my father’s passing away in peace. I do not want to stand at the foot of the cross of my father. I was a Satan for him. Thanks be to God that I started my own ascent to my own Golgotha, one of my many Good Fridays in my life.
With this experience, Jesus taught me three things. First, as I affirm that I know Jesus, a Jesus who without his fault, suffered jeering, false accusations, and ultimately his passion and death; I will also face the same absurdity, doubts, and problems in life. With Jesus’ total submission to the Will of God, I too, will need to trust in God’s providential Will despite my doubts and fear. I will beg the Lord for the grace of submission to God’s Will and carry it daily in life. Second, “we are an Easter people and Alleluia is our Song!” this is a beautiful reminder from Saint John Paul II as we face the anxieties of life. The joy of the Resurrection gives me an inner freedom that is beyond any sadness or despair because Jesus conquered life and even the deep recesses of death just to give us the fullness of life. Lastly as Christians, baptized in the name of the Triune God, I have this hope that eternally believes in the love of God that never failed Jesus and extended to me if I will just believe.
This week, let us meditate on Jesus’ words and ask ourselves, how willing are we to suffer like Jesus? Jesus’ life was a life of trust in God, what kind of trust do we have from God? Jesus is asking us anew, who do you say that I am?
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God! Have mercy on me, a sinner!