Jesus Christ brought His apostles to a high place called Caesarea Philippi and asked them about what other people said about Him. They replied that according to the people Jesus was John the Baptist, or Elijah, or any other prophet. Then Jesus asked them: “But what about you, who do you say I am? (Mk 8:29a)” Certainly, Jesus would like His disciples to know who He really was.
For the Jews, the identity of a person is significant. Such identity is usually manifested through the name of such person because the name reveals the identity, or vocation, and even mission of such person. Like for Moses, his name means somebody taken out from the water. Indeed, Moses was taken out from the water when he was a child. Then his mission was to save the Israelites from Egypt through the crossing of the Red Sea. For Jesus, His name means Savior. And Christ means the Messiah.
Consequently, Jesus was interested that His disciples would really know His identity. In fact, He was already giving them a clue about who He was since the place they were in was a place of temples where gods and goddesses were. He was giving them a hint about His identity as regards the place. Good that Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, immediately replied: “You are the Messiah” (Mk 8:29b).
It is important for each of us Christians to know who Jesus really is not only for all of us but also for each of us. Meaning, we must have personal knowledge about Jesus because such knowledge definitely affects our relationship with Him. If we consider Him as our friend, then our relationship with Him is a friendly relationship. If we consider Him as our helper, then our relationship with Him is a needy-helper relationship. On the other hand, if we consider Him as our Savior and Lord, then our relationship with Him is a relationship between a God and a creature, a Savior and a believer. We have to acknowledge the truth that even though Jesus is a friend, a helper, a brother, yet He is above all our Savior, Lord, and God. We have to follow Him and His teachings. Obedience to His will and teachings constitutes the genuineness of our faith in Him.
Today we honor the catechists of our parishes and mission churches. They are the ones who introduce Jesus to the children especially those in the schools and in the Church. They teach the children who Jesus really is and what are His teachings and commandments. Without them, children would be deprived of knowledge about Jesus and His Catholic Church. Without these catechists, children would not know how to be and act as Christians. As we celebrate today, the Catechists’ Day, let us thank them for the sacrifices that they do for the children and the Church. They usually do it for the love of God and without receiving any material compensation. May we show our appreciation to them by praying for them and by extending our financial support for their missionary activities. God Bless!!
TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle B/Year I (September 12, 2021)
Is 50:4-9/Jas 2:14-18/Mk 8:27-35