Last week's blog made it clear that I was a baseball fan so I have a confession to make. I did not watch my beloved Pirates win an extraordinary game last night. In spite of being no-hit into the tenth inning the Pirates won with a dramatic home run. And I missed it! I share this with you because instead of spending my morning time with God I allowed myself to get caught up in all kinds of negative stuff when I started surfing on my phone through the news stories. It was amazing to me how quickly I got caught up in what people were saying online about any number of topics. Before I knew it I was anxious and had to put my phone down and refocus on God. In this week's Gospel Jesus asks His disciples about what the people are saying.
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. Matthew 16:13-20
Jesus is not really concerned about who the people say He is. His intent comes through in the followup question to His followers. Peter hits a home run with his answer. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Peter is not at all confused about Jesus' identity in spite of all the talk amongst the people. And Jesus affirms Peter's profession with an amazing profession of His own about Peter and his role in the Church.
My experience this morning reminded me of how easy it is to get caught up in all that is happening around us. Josh Harrison was the savior for the Pirates last night with his game-winning home run. We don't have to look very far in our media saturated world to find debates about who and what will save us from everything that ails us. This morning I got sucked into the news and it distracted me. I lost sight of the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Peter's profession is profound because it was the first of its kind. Have you professed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God? Recently? Publicly? We sometimes argue vehemently about everything from sports to politics. But how passionately do we profess our faith in Jesus Christ?