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February 21, 2019: Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Genesis 9:1-13
Gospel Mark 8:27-33

He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected....

Asking the right question is extremely important in many situations that we face in life. It’s also important to ask the right type of question. For instance, there are questions that ask “How?”, calling for technological answers. On the other hand, “Why?” questions deal with meaning: they call for deeper answers.

We find Jesus Christ in today’s Gospel account asking his disciples to tell Him who they think He really is.

Jesus had two reasons for asking His question. One was to have His disciples give some serious thought to just who they thought they were following. The other was to take the opportunity to teach them about what was going to happen to Him. In other words, where was He going? By extension, where would they end up if they kept following Him?

Is Jesus an interesting historical figure? Is He, as the Muslims say, a great prophet? Is he one among many in a long line of Jewish rabbis?

Or is He unique? Is Christ Jesus God in the Flesh, in order that we can see Him, know Him, and love Him as one of us: in other words, God so that He can save us, and man so that we can receive His divinity through His humanity? Christ Jesus is God the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, made incarnate, made human flesh and blood for us. It is, then, His suffering greatly and being rejected that makes possible this “great exchange”: our sinfulness for God’s own divine life.