Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 16,13-19
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The identity of Jesus is what should always be clear in your life. It is knowing who He is and how He is a part of your life. It is easy to get carried away by what people say and it is easy to buy the god that people are trying to sell to you. I believe that today the sale aisle offers a 3 x 1 special. They are selling three types of Jesus to you:
1) Jesus, the bad stepmother: He is the punishing god, who only does justice and makes sure you clock in. He keeps score. He is like a soccer referee because he narrates the game and if anything happens to you, it is because he gives you a red or yellow card. You see this type of god as one that calls everything in your life. A god that you are afraid of because if you don’t do things, pray, go to church, this god will punish you or he won’t listen to you. You need to do certain things in order to get his approval.
2) Jesus, the lamp: He is like Aladdin’s lamp where instead of rubbing and rubbing, you must pray a lot so that God gives you what you are asking for. As a result, you pray and pray until he gives you what you ask for. You turn God into a genie that you rub until you get what you want.
3) Jesus, the secretary: It is he who accommodates all my ideas and follows my orders. I tell him what I want and ask him to prepare it for me so that everything turns out the way I want. I am the pilot and God is my co-pilot. It is as if God has to follow my orders. I want this or that, prepare this for me, ensure I accomplish this, open the doors for me here, ensure you orchestrate everything for me and I just take it.
In the end, these three examples or specials that I have presented to you is often what people want to sell you. What God do you have? Finally, in Peter, we see the answer in the God that Christianity proposes: A God that is living, close by, liberating, healing and a savior. A God that shows you the path of humility, how you can become nothing, one who serves, small so that God can grow and strengthen your heart.
May Jesus be the one who brings life to your life, liberates you so you can live, and makes you fall in love with life.
God bless you and be with you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Remember, Heaven is our goal!