YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 18TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt. 16:13-23) Thursday of the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus asked His apostles who people say He was, and later who was she to them. The names of the great prophets Elijah, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist were mentioned. Apparently, up to this point, Jesus was still regarded as one of the prophets. But Peter came up with the best answer by proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah.
Jesus was approaching His death. His mission was about to be completed. He is taught so many people and in many places. He also did great miracles wherever He went. Was He fulfilling His mission? Was He coming across correctly? Were His words and deeds jiving with His mission and person? In other words, was He gradually being acknowledge to be the Messiah? Peter was inspired by the Spirit and moved by the Father in order for him to declare Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the Loving God. Jesus recognized the confession. But the disciples were still confused. However, immediately, Peter realized His confession. Jesus, on the other hand clarified what kind of Messiah He will be. He will suffer rejection, torture, and death. It was not just a test of the apostle’s faith but the truth. The disciples were further confused. How could Jesus die? Peter even volunteered to give his life in defense of Jesus. From then on, the relationship of the disciples with Jesus will be measured and subjected to test.
Indeed, the depth of our relationship with Jesus will be the basis of our faith and commitment to Him. If He is a provider, He is only good as His last grace. If He is prophet, we only see Him as a proclaimer of God’s Word. If He is King, we see Him as a protector and a provider. And if we know Him as a Savior, then, we will commit ourselves to Him and even offer our lives for He faith and the relationship.
The knowledge of Jesus here is not merely based on knowing His personal data, both external and internal. The knowledge here is one involving experiencing His love, mercy, justice, compassion, humility, etc. It is a knowing of the mind, heart, soul, and body. So, if we are asked from the depth of our hearts, who do you say Jesus is?