Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year BLeave a Comment

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Recognizing Jesus the Christ

This episode holds a central and decisive place in Mark’s account. It has already been some time that the disciples have been living in fellowship with Jesus. The time has come to declare clearly who are they following. What is it that they discover in Jesus? What do they perceive in his life, his message and his project?

Ever since they have joined him, their life has been one of questioning themselves about his identity. What surprises them the most is the authority with which he speaks, the power with which he heals the sick, and the love with which he offers God’s forgiveness to sinners. Who is this man in whom they feel God so present and so close as a Friend of life and forgiveness?

Among the people who have not been living with him, there are all kinds of rumors. But Jesus is interested in his disciples’ position: But who do you say that I am? It is not enough for them to have various opinions that are more or less accurate. It is essential that those who have committed themselves to his cause recognize the mystery he enfolds. If this is not the case, who will keep his message alive? What will become of his project of God’s kingdom? Where will that group that he is trying to get started end up?

But the question is also vital for his disciples. It affects them radically. It is not possible to follow Jesus in an unconscious and not so serious way. They have to know him deeply more and more. Peter, putting together their experiences so far of being in close fellowship with him, answers in everyone’s name: You are the Christ.

Peter’s confession is still limited. The disciples do not know yet about Jesus’ crucifixion at the hands of his opponents. They cannot even suspect that he will be raised by the Father as the Beloved Son. They do not have any experience that will let them grasp all that is enfolded in Jesus. Only by following him closely will they keep discovering his identity with increasing faith.

It is vital for Christians to recognize and confess all the more deeply the mystery of Jesus the Christ. If the Church is ignorant of Christ, she will spend her life in ignorance of her own self. If she does not know him, she cannot know what of her task and mission is most essential and decisive. But in order to know and confess Jesus Christ, it is not enough to fill our mouths with wonderful Christological titles. It is necessary to follow him closely and work with him from day to day. This is the principal task we must promote in our Christian groups and communities.

September 13, 2015
24 Ordinary Time (B)
Mark 8, 27-35

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