Fr. Mike’s Homily for Thursday of the 6th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II (1)










Fr. Mike’s Homily for Thursday of the 6th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: The mysteries of God
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Thursday February 17 2022
Mk 8:27-33
Now Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
We are familiar nowadays with social surveys, and they are used in business, politics and some other aspects in the life of modern society. Jesus also had His own survey. In the Gospel today, He asked His disciples: “Who do people say that I am?” He wanted to know the perception and sentiment of people regarding His identity. Their answers were diverse: John the Baptist come to life again, Elijah, or one of the prophets. These were all wrong. Surveys, after all, are not impeccable and they cannot be relied upon at all times, no matter how scientific they claim to be.
Then, Jesus asked His disciples: “But who do you say that I am?” They have been with Him every day for a long while, and they should know better. And Peter, inspired by the heavenly Father, gave the perfect answer: “You are the Messiah.” But Jesus ordered them not to tell this to anyone. Revealing Jesus as the Messiah before the appointed time might jeopardize the fulfillment of His mission.
What came as a shock to His disciples was His announcement of His forthcoming passion and death on the cross leading up to His resurrection. And there was no mistaking His meaning, for “He spoke this quite openly”. Peter, along with the rest of the disciples, vehemently objected to this and “he began to rebuke Him.” We can readily understand Peter’s reaction. He has just pronounced Jesus to be the long-awaited leader of the Jewish people and now He says He is going to be rejected and executed by their very own leaders. How can He save them when He is already dead? It makes absolutely no sense whatever. But Jesus “turned around and, looking at His disciples, rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.’”
Obviously, Peter and the rest of the disciples have not yet come to a complete and correct understanding of the messiahship of Jesus. At this stage, they only think of a political messiah. It is unthinkable for such a messiah to suffer and die. Only later on will they fully understand everything Jesus taught them after His resurrection, and most especially, after being enlightened by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Like the blind man in yesterday’s Gospel account, the opening of their eyes to the truth about Jesus is also a gradual and long process.
Indeed, without divine enlightenment, it is impossible for the human mind to understand the ineffable and unfathomable mysteries of the Kingdom. And, in fact, according to an author, Craig Lounsbrough, “To understand the mysteries of God we must move past the logic of men.” This is what St. Paul told the Corinthians: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1Cor 1:25).
Hence, to insist on our human logic in opposition to the wisdom of God may be spiritually dangerous. This is precisely why Jesus rebuked Peter: ‘Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.’”
Ultimately, the revealed truths of the mysteries of God are matters of faith. They are meant not to be understood, for they are beyond human comprehension, but to be believed. In the face of the limitless profundity and grandeur of God’s mystery, what is needed is not our human intelligence and wisdom but our faith and trust. So, we pray, “Lord, increase our faith.”
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches




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