Reflection: Saints Peter & Paul

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Acts 12:1-11; Ps.33; 2nd Reading – 2Tim.4:6-8,17-18; Gospel – Mt.16:13-19]


Sometimes we find ourselves having to comment and say something about someone else.  In such circumstances it depends quite often on how much we know that person.  It depends on our relationship with him/her.  It is in fact very easy to repeat what others say about someone especially if we do not know the person.  We might say what others said… we might reveal a mistaken perception of his/her identity…  On the other hand it is very easy to reveal our relationship with a person if we have a personal knowledge of him/her.

The same situation is found in today’s gospel.  Jesus is asking His disciples about what people say about the Son of Man.  As if He were not the Son of Man himself!  In fact the answers that He receives were that the Son of Man is one of the prophets.  They mention people who, in one way or another, prepared the path of the Son of Man – the “Prophets” who had a specific role in preparing the people to receive the Messiah.  As a matter of fact the disciples said that the people recognise in Jesus a special person, who, like the prophets, spoke in the name of God.  But even so, the people’s acquaintance with the Son of Man was a superficial one. They recognised some things but missed other more important ones…

Clarity came only when He asked his disciples a more direct question, not about the Son of Man anymore, but about Himself.  And it was here that Peter, a disciple and apostle, talked about his relationship with Jesus.  Furthermore, it was not enough for Peter to recognise that Jesus is the Christ, but in being so, Peter recognises that He is also the Son of the Living God.  In other words Peter is attributing to Jesus all that the Prophets had said about the Messiah.  He is seeing in Jesus the Messiah sent by the Living God to a people prepared for His reception by the prophets – including John the Baptist.  Peter is saying that the time has come for the people to accept Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, and the Son of the Living God.  This Jesus, the Messiah that the Prophets had talked about, is not a generic person but a specific person with a name (Christ), son of someone else (The Living God).

Jesus too addresses Peter as a specific person – Simon son of Jonah.   And He also gives him the title of “a happy man!”  Peter is a happy man because he recognises Jesus as the Christ. Jesus calls Peter “Happy” because Peter had created a relationship with Him.  At the same time Peter is also a happy man because through this relationship with Jesus, he also created a relationship with the Father in heaven, the Living God, who revealed the truth to Peter about Jesus – that He is the Son, the Christ!

Are we ready to create a similar relationship with Jesus and the Father?

Lord, sometimes we find ourselves having to answer the same questions that you asked your disciples.  We too find it easy to repeat what others said about you.  But when we have to talk about our relationship with you, sometimes we find ourselves confused and we do not know what to say.  Help us to create a true relationship with You, Lord!”




Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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