Jesus confirms He is the Messiah and that He will be rejected by the Jewish leadership and be executed. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Humility so he can more fully submit to Christ’s Holy Will and by growing in the Virtue of Orderliness so he can order his entire life round Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church.
24th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 8:27-35
After performing spectacular miracles, Jesus leads the disciples to Caesarea Philippi, long a center of the pagan worship of false gods, including Caesar, who claimed to be the “son of god”; here, Jesus will reveal His Divine Identity.
Asking the Apostles, “Who do people say that I am?”; Jesus alludes to His true identity: God reveals Himself by name to Moses by saying, “I am” (Ex 3:13-14). They respond, confirming most thought Jesus was a great prophet who had returned: John the Baptist, Elijah or another prophet. Jesus forces the Apostles to think for themselves: “But who do you say that I am?, a question that had perplexed the Apostles (Mk 4:41). Simon Peter, moved by the Spirit, proclaims, “You are the Messiah.” Jesus warns them to not speak of His identity, preferring to reveal Himself according to His own divine plan.
Jesus now reveals He will be rejected, killed, and raised from the dead; this revelation is completely at odds with Jewish hope for a conquering political Messiah King. Peter, showing his impulsiveness and confusion, seeks to rebuke Jesus in private. Jesus devastatingly rebukes Peter, likening him to Satan, who opposes God’s will. Turning towards the multitude, Jesus promises eternal life to those who give up the pleasures of the world, follow Him and sacrifice themselves for Him and His Gospel. Omitted from today’s reading (v 36-37), Jesus confirms salvation depends on an absolute commitment to turn from the world and give one’s self completely to Him: many (adulterous and sinful generation) who fail to proclaim Jesus and His Gospel (are “ashamed”) will be rejected by Jesus at the Judgment.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Consider with holy fear, the Son of the Father: the perfection of Obedience to the Father (a part of Justice), Jesus displays an explosive just Anger at Peter’s prideful disobedience, publicly rebuking Peter in the Harshest of terms, comparing Peter’s disobedience to Satan’s; Divine Judge, Jesus Harshly calls the crowd, an “adulterous and sinful generation”, and gives a chilling warning of the Judgment that is coming to those who reject Him (ashamed of Jesus).
Be humble and submit to Christ’s Will
Realize: Jesus’ identity as the Messiah (“the Christ”) is a turning point in the Gospels, and a turning point in human history; through Him, and His Holy Catholic Church, generations of sinful men have become less sinful, and sinful men who believe and repent have even been granted a path to the eternal happiness of Heaven.
Believe: Reflect upon The Christ (CCC 436-440).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Humility, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I humbly recognize Your infinite greatness, the reality of my smallness and pride, and seek to hear and do Your Holy Will in every area of my life; my Lord and Savior, help me confront my pride, confess, and be forgiven by You in the Sacrament of Penance.
Order your life upon Jesus and His Catholic Church
Realize: The ability to conceive and achieve the world-wide sanctification of multitudes of humans across millennia through the Catholic Church is beyond the ability of any mere man; only Jesus, the Messiah, has the Divine Wisdom to lift men to sainthood.
Believe: Reflect upon Jesus Christ’s Divine Wisdom (CCC 471-474; 571-573).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Virtue, help me build the Virtue of Orderliness (a part of Temperance) so I recognize that Your Divine Wisdom is the only sure foundation for my life, and systematically order the routines of my life upon the Catholic Church, the only source of the fullness of Your Divine Wisdom.