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Peter’s confession about Jesus

Gospel reading: Mt 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi 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 Christ, 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.”


After hearing of people’s opinions, Jesus asks the disciples what they think of him. Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Peter boldly and categorically affirms Jesus’ identity that they learned at Jesus’ baptism and from following him. This will be reaffirmed later at Jesus’ transfiguration.

The people do not get Jesus right. They have a faint knowledge of him, considering that he is just passing by. They may witness him healing and working miracles here and there, but that is about all.

The Apostles who have been accompanying him have a fuller view: Jesus must be somebody. But Jesus himself declares that it is not by inference, deduction, or experience that Peter gets him right, but by revelation from God. Peter cannot truly identify Jesus if the Father has not intervened. Because of this particular gift of revelation, Peter is now given a responsibility – leadership in the community.

God has chosen to reveal Jesus’ identity to Peter who is also chosen to lead. Revelation and leadership go together.

Peter now holds the authority of the Church, ekklesia, that the Lord will build.

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Do you believe the Catholic teaching that the Pope continues Peter’s leadership until the end of time?

Make it a habit to pray for the Holy Father.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.