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Homily (Reflection) for Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time (I) (16th February, 2017) on the Gospel

Gen 9:1-13;
Ps 101:16-21.29.22-23. (R. v.20);
Mk 8:27-33.
Topic: Illusions about Jesus.
Jesus first asked His disciples in today’s gospel, “Who do people say that I am?” They thought He was John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the prophets. He then asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” When Jesus foretold what was waiting for Him – suffering, rejection, and death, Peter took Him aside and rebuked Him. However, Jesus rebuked Peter saying, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
Two illusions about Jesus Christ are apparent in today’s gospel. First, the people were not able to recognise Jesus. Again, Peter who declared correctly that He was the Messiah did not understand His kind of Messiahship. Hence, when Jesus foretold what He was to undergo he rebuked Him. The illusion about the kind of Messiah Jesus is subsisted beyond His death and resurrection, cf. Acts 1:6. Needless to say that it is still found today among His followers (Christians).
We know a lot about Jesus Christ. However, just like in Peter’s case, many have not been able to grasp what these things really mean. Hence, many illusions continue to exist. Illusions about Jesus Christ give birth to illusions about what it means to be Christ’s follower. For instance, we tend to forget His warnings about what awaits us, cf. Matt 10:18; Mk 13:9. However, those who sincerely follow Jesus have nothing at stake, cf. Matt 10:39. 16:25; Mk 8:35. 10:29-30; Lk 9:24. Let us therefore sincerely set our minds on divine things which are incomparable, cf. 1Cor 2:9.
Bible Reading: Acts 1:6-11.
Thought for today: Where is your mind?
Let us pray: Lord, give us the grace to set our minds always on divine things – Amen.

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