Gospel Mark 8:27-35
Can you imagine Jesus Christ in the middle of Dubai, a modern city with grand architecture, a country for very wealthy VIP’s and businessmen?
Jesus was asking the disciples – Who am I for people? In other words, to translate this question – How important am I for these people? He wasn’t interested in gossip, He wanted to know His impact in people’s lives. This is very interesting because we have two ways of knowing Jesus Christ. Catechists, Priests and Nuns, friends that know the Bible, and different courses, can teach us many things about Jesus but that is not enough.
Some said He was John the Baptist and Elijah. Why John the Baptist? Because like John, He was never afraid to speak the truth and to announce a new world. Why Elijah? Because Elijah was the greatest prophet that preached the faith in only one God. Go to the book of Elijah and you will find how much he preached against idols.
In the Gospel, Jesus was in front of a beautiful Roman village, built with white marble by Philip in honour of the Roman Empire Caesar. That village was the Dubai of the region, only for VIP’s, for those part of the court, as well as businessmen. There were many temples with people worshipping different gods. It was a beautiful environment, architectural, natural with the River Jordan, with many gardens. Inside the palaces were beautiful women that danced to please the King, the place where John the Baptist was beheaded. A very vibrant place far from the real, true God.
Jesus is asking – How important is My proposal of life for these people? For you? Peter’s response is the community’s as well – You are the Messiah. But in Peter’s mind, it wasn’t the Messiah announced in the First Reading, not the Messiah to be killed and treated like a suffering servant, but the Messiah that performs miracles and healing. Peter was not thinking as God but as man. Let us be careful of everything that we think of as man. When we make our human thoughts supreme, tragedy is the result.
Many people can teach us about Jesus but we need a personal experience of God. How do you welcome this proposal of life? What is His impact? This is what we are called to meditate on today.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.