O Lord, You are my Lord and my God!
21st Week in Ordinary Time : Sunday 27th August 2023
Is. 22:19-23; Ps. 137:1-3,6,8;
Rom. 11:33-36; Mt. 16:13-20 (Ps. Wk. I)
Quite often in life, when our opinion is sought, we tend to give an answer that reflects the popular sentiment. We do this for two main reasons. The first is because that is a safe choice – if everyone says it, it must be true. Second, we are shy or afraid to venture our own opinion because we risk being ridiculed for giving a wrong or foolish answer.
Unless we are self-opinionated or feel strongly about something, we rarely say what is in our minds and hearts, choosing to go with the crowd instead. But crowds lead to a herd mentality, and soon enough, we stop thinking for ourselves and let others make decisions for us, leaving us dissatisfied and unfulfilled, our dreams unrealised. Many wrongs do not make a right.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus was doing a Gallup poll to see if the people He had ministered to knew who He was. Obviously, they did not, mistaking Him for other prophets of Israel instead of acknowledging Him as Jesus of Nazareth. Pushed for his own opinion, Peter’s divine-inspired answer spoke the truth of Jesus’ identity – “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And because Peter (Hebrew – Cephas) did not choose the popular opinion but spoke from the depth of his conviction, Jesus reveals a further truth to Peter and the rest: upon Cephas (rock) the Church will be built, the keys for which are entrusted to Peter. We need to trust that the truth emerges when we speak from the authenticity of our heart. Let us honestly answer the Lord’s question today: “Who do you say I am?”
You are my Lord and God!