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.
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As I read this Sunday’s Gospel, a few questions arise. Did the other disciples know who Jesus was? Did they not know that he was the Christ, or did they know but were too timid to speak up? From this passage, it seems that Peter was the only one who really knew Jesus. This makes sense because out of all the disciples, Peter was closest to Jesus. But when he tells Jesus “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus implies that his Heavenly Father revealed this to him. Maybe God chose him to understand Jesus’ true identity, setting him up to become the Rock of the Church. Regardless, Peter confidently makes a profession of faith in this Sunday’s Gospel. He not only knew that Jesus was the Christ, but he proclaimed it unwaveringly. We also have the blessing of knowing who Jesus is. When the time comes to profess our faith, whether it be at Mass or with a friend, let’s do so with confidence, knowing that Jesus is the Son of the Living God who takes away the sins of the world.
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