Jesus confirms He is the Messiah and that He will be 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. 

Liturgy

6th Week in Ordinary Time – Thursday – Mk 8:27-33

Commentary

After astounding the multitudes with preaching and spectacular miracles, Jesus now moves to disclose His Divine Identity. Traveling towards the village of Caesarea Philippi, long a center of the pagan worship of false gods, including Caesar who claimed to be the “son of god”, Jesus challenges the Apostles to proclaim their belief in Him.  

There was much speculation as to the identity of Christ, and Jesus uses the confusion to reveal Himself to the Apostles. Asking them, “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). The Apostles respond, confirming most thought Jesus was a great prophet who had returned: John the Baptist, Elijah, or another prophet. Jesus forces them 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 God the Father through the Holy 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. 

After revealing He is the Messiah, Jesus discloses the stunning fact that He will be rejected by Jewish leaders, killed, and raised from the dead; this vision is completely at odds with the Jewish hopes for a conquering political Messiah King. Peter, showing his impulsiveness and confusion, seeks to rebuke Jesus. Jesus devastatingly rebukes Peter, likening him to Satan, who opposes the will of God. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by Jesus, the Son of Man, as He systematically reveals that He is the Messiah: Person of the Trinity, Jesus prepares for the Incarnation by inspiring the greatest prophets across thousands of years to predict His arrival; Divine King, to sear the truth about His Kingship into the minds of His men, Jesus takes His Apostles to the place where a false worldly king is hailed as the “son of God”; Son of Man, Jesus directs the Holy Spirit to inspire Peter to proclaim that He is the Messiah.

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 joy 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 I 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 I systematically order the routines of my life upon the Catholic Church, the only source of the fullness of Your Divine Wisdom.