Who do you say I am?

09-16-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

n today's Gospel Mark gives us two incidents in the public life of Jesus which are closely connected. His mission was given by the Father to proclaim the kingdom and be with them as the messiah. Here we have the first of the three predictions of Jesus about his imminent sufferings, death and resurrection. As such it makes a turning point in this Gospel. Here we have Mark's carefully constructed theology of the cross which will evolve around his three passion predictions.

Each passion prediction including this one has three parts. First, there is the prediction by Jesus of his suffering, death and resurrection. Second, there is the rejection and misunderstanding by the disciples regarding the sayings of Jesus. Third there is a corrective teaching by Jesus which stresses some theological aspect and the meaning of discipleship.

Our Lord once again asked His disciples of who the people say He is. There are so many answers given like John the Baptist, Elijah and other prophets. But when Jesus asked them of who is to them. Peter answered that He is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

This answer of Saint Peter revealed the true and sincere type of friendship he had with Jesus. He knew Him better than the people. For the people, Jesus is a great Teacher, Son of David, miracle worker, one of the prophets and the Holy One of God.

How about if Jesus asks the same question today, what will be our answer?

The gospel text of today, on the one hand, invites us to a personalization of our perception and experience of Jesus. Jesus asks, "Who do you say I am?" (Mk 8:27). On the other hand, the Liturgy of the Word also invites us to acknowledge the role of suffering in the history of salvation.

The Gospel of today seeks to give us the true identity of Jesus and invites us to make our personal discovery of the master.