HIS WORDâ€¦ WHO DO PEOPLE SAY THAT I AM?… BUT WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?… GET BEHIND ME, SATAN. YOU ARE THINKING NOT AS GOD DOES, BUT AS HUMAN BEINGS DOâ€¦ WHOEVER WISHES TO COME AFTER ME MUST DENY HIMSELF, TAKE UP HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME.
my wordsâ€¦ Todayâ€™s gospel is usually tagged as the â€œGospel of Galilean Crisisâ€ or the â€œConfession of Peterâ€ or the â€œGospel on the Identity of Jesusâ€. The third name is drawn through two survey questions: â€œWho do people say that I am?â€ (Mk 8:27), and â€œWho do you say that I am?â€ (Mk 8:29). The answers of both questions made and prompted Jesus to declare His final journey and mission of this life through His very first prediction about His passion and death (Mk 8:31).
THE PEOPLEâ€™S PERCEPTION ON JESUS. The series of prophetic names enumerated by the disciples would simply signify that Jesus was perceived as a PROPHET by the people. And for Jesus, the answer is correct. People saw what Jesus did in His ministry as prophetic signs for the coming of the Kingdom of God. The many miracles that He did for the people were more or less correctly perceived; except for some who intentionally belittled them. But Jesus is looking for a deeper perception of Himself, and so comes the second survey questionâ€¦
THE DISCIPLESâ€™ PERCEPTION ON JESUS. The second question, â€œWho do YOU say that I am?â€ was readily answered by Peter, the leader of the Twelve, as â€œYou are the Christâ€. And so came the more perfect answer on the identity of Jesus as â€œthe Christâ€. In St. Matthewâ€™s version of this gospel text, the proclamation of Peter was not his own, but a revelation by â€œHis heavenly Fatherâ€ (Mt 16:17). Hence, unto Peter did Jesus entrust His Church and the â€œkeysâ€ to the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 16:18-19). And with this more perfect answer about Him, Jesus made a decision and proclaimed His final journeyâ€¦ that He will die for the people.
THE FILIPINO PEOPLEâ€™S PERCEPTION ON JESUS. If Jesus were to ask a third survey question: â€œWho do Filipino people say that I am?â€ A traditional and regional and devotional answer may come our way; For the Cebuanos, Jesus is the â€œSenyor Sto. Ninoâ€ of Cebu City, for the Manilenos, Jesus is the â€œPoong Nazarenoâ€ of Quiapo, and for the people of Laguna, Jesus is â€œLolo Uwengâ€ of Landayan. And recent devotions on Jesus are also proclaimed in the Philippines like, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Jesus of the Divine Mercy, the Holy Name of Jesus, Jesus the Risen Christ, Jesus the Divine Healer, and other devotions on Jesus our Savior.
BUT WHO IS JESUS FOR YOU? Our answers may vary depending on our individual religious experiences with Jesus. But the more important denominator in our devotion to Jesus is the presence and meaning of the CROSS. It is in carrying our own cross that we find meaning in following Jesus. For with Jesus in our crosses of life, they become easy to carry.
MAY THE CROSS OF JESUS STRENGTHEN US IN OUR CHRISTIAN LIVINGâ€¦ (By Fr. Julius C. Lupot)