21st Sunday in Ordinary Time ~ August 23, 2020

The Gospel of today gives us the different opinions or descriptions of what people think about Jesus and the desire to make him known. God, the Father, continues to reveal himself to us in word and sacrament, and he reveals to Peter today the mystery of Jesus’ true identity. Peter’s expression of who Jesus is. It’s a faithful declaration of his act of faith. ‘I believe in God.’

Jesus 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.” They all gave different opinions of what people said about him. The question Jesus puts to his disciples is challenging and they cannot avoid it. He further asked them individually; “But for you, who do you say that I am?” Immediately, Simon Peter bursts out with a statement of absolute truth and said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter professed Jesus. He knew that Jesus was the truth that had to guide him. We are called to “get it” as well, and truly understand what Jesus and this Church is all about.

Jesus said to Peter 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." How powerful those words and statement of Jesus, and the authority and blessings given to Peter. The power of God at work in Peter leads him to a deeper understanding and fully recognizing and affirming Jesus’ identity. I am sure if we are asked the same question of who Jesus is, we might even say something different as the disciples. However; what matters here is our own profession of faith of who Jesus is personally to us, ‘I Believe in God.’  A personal relationship with God is very important in our lives as Christians. We must express our Faith in God. He is our Savior and Messiah.

Let us mediate on the following questions of what do people say or see in us, do they see the person of Jesus? Do we know our own true identity of who we truly are, in the image and likeness of God? Who do we represent, do we represent Jesus? Do we recognize Jesus in the faces of the poor, the sick, the suffering, the dying, the less privileged, the orphans, and widows?

Hence, we are challenged and called today to recognize fully and affirm the true identity of Jesus in our lives, to recognize Jesus in the faces of our brothers and sisters in need, and in the Eucharist, the Source and Summit of our Christian faith.

God is good…all the time.

God bless you.

Fr. Daniel E. Ogbeifun