Sunday Gospel Reflection
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 8:27-35 | September 12, 2021
Peter’s Confession about Jesus
“Who do people say that I am?”
“But who do you say that I am?”
“You are the Christ.”
“For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it.”
Knowing Jesus in my life came in several stages. My earliest recollection is by association with Catholic schools—St. Vincent College, where my mother was a teacher, and St. Mary’s Academy where I had my kindergarten, both located in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte where I was born.
At St. Mary’s Academy and at home, I learned to make the “Sign of the Cross”—the shortest prayer to the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then, as I was growing up, I was praying to my guardian angel.
My mother also instilled in me and my siblings the habit of praying the “Angelus” at 6 pm every day, saying Grace before and after meals, Sunday Mass, Block Rosary, and a nine-day devotion to Mama Mary.
Small steps in faith that impacted my childhood to adulthood. Now, in my senior years, I have a deeper appreciation of what it means to know God, love God, adore and glorify Him
A friend of mine once told me that “knowing oneself is a task of a lifetime”. To this day, I haven’t forgotten that one great thought and live it day by day. But it is equally profound that “knowing God is a task of a lifetime”.
Sa buhay sa mundong ito, nakikilala ng karamihan ang Panginoon sa simbahan. Masaya man tayo o malungkot o hirap sa maraming bagay, tumatakbo tayo sa simbahan para kausapin ang Diyos, magpasalamat, umiyak, maglabas ng sama ng loob, humingi ng tulong, at purihin si Hesus.
Nakikilala natin Siya sa simbahan kapag tayo ay binibinyagan bilang Katoliko, nagkukumpisal ng mga kasalanan; we get to know him when we attend Sunday mass, observe Lent, and serve as parish servants and servant leaders.
Ang simbahan ang pisikal na bahay ng Panginoon kasama ang mga pari bilang representative Niya at mahalaga sa tao na mayroonong nakikitang aktual at totoong bagay that will symbolize God—dahilan na nagkatawang tao si Hesus so we can relate with Him better.
Sa ebanghelyo sa Linggong ito, tinatanong ni Kristo ang mga disciples: “Who do people say that I am?” At sa tanong na ito, sumagot si Peter, “You are the Messiah.” “You are the Christ.”
Because of the Father’s overflowing love for us, Jesus the Messiah, had to suffer and die on the cross to save mankind from sin. The season of Lent is that momentous event reminding us of the Father’s love, Jesus’ great sacrifice, and our rejoicing on Easter on His resurrection. His rising from the dead on the third day is the culmination and fulfillment of God’s promise. It tells us that we can have forgiveness from sin and be saved from eternal death. It tells us that nothing is impossible with the Lord. It tells us that the Almighty is everywhere then, now, and forever.
But do we feel Him in the core of our existence? Do we stay close to Jesus? Do we let go and pray with an open heart? Ramdam ba natin ang Diyos sa buong pagkatao? Hinihiling ba nating yakapin Niya tayo ng pagmamahal, kapayapaan at katahimikan? First, we must receive Him.
Jesus was obedient unto death. Tayo kaya? Are we obedient to His commandments? Nakikinig ba tayo sa kanyang Salita? How far are we willing to go? Goal ba natin ang “final dwelling place” to be with the Most High? Pagnilayan natin ito.
To follow God means seeing Him in others, praying for the sick, sending words of comfort to the desperate, giving to the homeless and needy, supporting worthy causes financially and generously. St. Ignatius of Loyola tells us to “give without counting the cost”. We must do this as we acknowledge the many blessings in our life.
It is sad to think that some of us get lost when we forget to count our blessings—our clothes, the food on the table, and our loved ones. Ang bahay natin, kotse, trabaho, kalusugan, mga kaibigan, mga biyahe dito at doon, at marami pang iba. It is easy to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, but we have to take time out to pray and reflect in some quiet place to listen to the heart within.
“Who do you say that I am?” Let’s pause and reflect on this.
To follow Christ is not easy. It means total abandon of everything material and everything we own. That’s why “the rich man” in the Bible was sorrowful because he could not let go of all his possessions.
Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”
Let our hearts belong to Thee, O Lord, draw us closer to You as we storm the heavens with prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving…this we pray, Amen.
A blessed Sunday!