Faith Daily | 17 February 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 537
Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 8: 27-33
27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ 28And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ 29He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’* 30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Virginia Hasker
The stand-out parts of this dialogue are the two questions that Jesus asks –
“Who do people say that I am?”
“Who do you say I am?”
This group of disciples has been with Jesus through the many days of his ministry in and around Galilea. They had seen many healing miracles, seen the storm at sea quietened, their nets filled with fish, thousands of people fed on a few loaves of bread and fish, heard amazing preaching in the temple and witnessed arguments with religious leaders. BUT this man that they knew, and followed was just an ordinary fellow, the son of a carpenter, a local boy, nothing flash about him, BUT he must have had a powerful charisma and an eclectic personality to have drawn these disciples to be his followers, and the crowds of people who sought him out, wherever he was, to listen to him and bring people to him for healing.
What an amazing moment when Peter responded - “You are the Messiah”.
The Jewish people believed that they were God’s chosen people. The Old Testament tells of their history as the people of God, and the glory days of King David. After David came many years full of trouble - ‘The ten tribes were carried off to Assyria and lost forever. The Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and carried the Jews away captive. Then came the Persians as their masters; then the Greeks; then the Romans’. (Barclay)
The Jews believed that the days would return of freedom from domination with the arrival of a Messiah (Christ), a decedent of King David who would lead them once again to glory. A powerful person dressed as a conqueror.
Jesus didn’t fit the image. The message was not of war, conquest and domination, but of forgiveness, peace, compassion and a new way of living.
We live in a time of many troubles. Like the Jewish people we would like to see a leader rise up who could lead the world to peace and justice. But maybe the Leader we seek is the voice of God speaking to us through creation, scripture, creativity, words and acts of kindness and care within and around us. Do we recognise that voice, that presence, that Christ?
FINAL PRAYER: (based on John 18:12)
Jesus, light of the world, as I follow you today, would You illuminate the darkness within me and around me. Show me Your presence and Your path as I welcome the light of life.