Gospel: (Matthew 16: 13-20)
Jesus 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, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him, “Bless are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church… I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Jesus revealed himself to Peter through his experience where, in spite of his doubt, fear, and sinking, he was saved from the raging seas. Peter had a gripping and personal experience of the saving power of Jesus, and so answers from a faith stance that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter had paid attention to his experience, and so the “heavenly Father”could reveal to him the knowledge that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. When we open our eyes to see and ears to hear and our hearts to experience Jesus’ presence and power in our daily lives, God’s revelation comes to us. We only need to have faith. (Living Liturgy, p.224)
A friend wrote about Frederic: “He has the sacred fire. There is such an air of interior conviction in this man, that without the appearance of doing so, he convinces and moves you.” Frederic’s sacred fire was faith. Faith for Frederic Ozanam was indeed a living reality that permeated his entire being; it was his “second sight.” Yet it was a hard-won gift. Frederic attributes the foundation of his faith to his parents. “In the midst of an age of skepticism, God gave me the grace to be born in the true faith. As a child I listened at the feet of a Christian father and a saintly mother.”(Ramson, Praying for Frederic, p.49)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)
How or to whom do you attribute your faith?
O Father, you reveal to us that Jesus is you Son,
-deepen our faith to see you in the events of our lives.
We pray for all parents,
–may they guide their children in the ways of faith.
Give us the sacred fire of Frederic,
–that our faith will have his interior conviction.
When Jesus asks us, “Who do you say that I am?”
-may we answer with Peter, “You are indeed the Christ. Amen