Today is the Feast of Confession of Peter. This event reminds us that there are incorrect answers and a correct answer to Jesus’ question: “But who do you say that I am?” In Matthew’s account of this event, we are told that it was the Father who enabled St. Peter to make this confession (Matthew 16:17). Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we continue to answer our Lord’s question today in our use of the ecumenical Creeds of the Church. The confession of the person of Jesus as Christ is then immediately tied to His work as our Lord goes on to predict His passion for the first time. Jesus’ words teach us that the confession of Christ will often prompt us to take up the cross and follow Him.
And 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?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. (Mark 8:27-35).
Collect of the Day:
Heavenly Father, You revealed to the apostle Peter the blessed truth that Your Son Jesus is the Christ. Strengthen us by the proclamation of this truth that we too may joyfully confess that there is salvation in no one else; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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