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Master·evangeli.net

Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Mk 8:27-33): Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.” (…). He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days (…).

Peter’s confession on the way to Jerusalem

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, we contemplate a milestone in Jesus Christ’s way: Peter’s confession. Jesus asks his disciples who the people thing He is and who they themselves consider Him to be. The views of people are greater or lesser approximations —from the past— to the mystery of Jesus Christ, and they have something in common: they classify Jesus in the category of prophet (Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist…). But they do not arrive at His divine nature.

Peter answers in the name of the Twelve in a confession that is markedly different from the opinion of the "people": "You are Christ" (or, also, according to parallel passages, the "Anointed one", "Son of the living God"). Immediately afterwards, Jesus foretells His Passion and Resurrection, and continues with a teaching about the way of the disciples: the way to follow Him, the "Crucified", in a "getting lost themselves".

—In his confession, Peter used "words of promise" from the Old Covenant: it was a confession "in the dark". That confession arrived at its complete form only when Thomas touching the wounds of the Risen Christ, cried out, in amazement: “My Lord and my God!".