THEME: YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
HOMILY FOR THURSDAY AUGUST 4 2022.
‘He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
In the Gospel of today (Matthew 16:13-20), Jesus asked an important question: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Jesus asked this question when He and His disciples came to the region of Caesarea Philippi. Caesarea Philippi was so named by Herod Philip, whose father, Herod the Great, had built a temple there. Philip took a special interest in the village and enlarged it, attaching his name to that of Caesar. The name Philip gave the town also served to distinguish it from another town called Caesarea (Acts 10:1). While Caesarea was located in Judea on the border of the Mediterranean Sea, Caesarea Philippi was in Galilee within the land allotted to the tribe of Naphtali. The gospels record Jesus going to Caesarea Philippi only once, possibly because it was sparsely populated and situated on the northernmost border of His travels. The city was built about 1100 feet above sea level at the foot of Mount Hermon. Here Jesus wanted to know who people thought He was. The reason for the question was probably the changing of opinions about Jesus under the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. And, this place with its temple to the gods provided the perfect opportunity for the revelation to come.
In response the disciples said: “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” It means that the knowledge of people of Him was defective and wrong. Then He had to turn to the disciples and asked the same question. And Peter answered Him correctly.
It is instructive to note that not all those who saw Jesus or heard of Him truly knew whom He was in Israel. In other words, it is possible to hear His words, read about Him, see Him in the Blessed Sacrament, and even receive Him in communion yet we do not know Him.
It does appear, and it is rightly so that true knowledge of God comes when we choose Him in the midst of other things that have become gods around us, and opinions that sound divine but they are not. Jesus did not throw criticism at the opinions that were wrong about Him. In an attempt to win men’s approval, we fight so hard to define ourselves before people. And we feel frustrated when we think we are misunderstood by people. He did not say that He was going to prove Himself to those who felt He was one of the prophets.
Relationship with God is personal yet nourished and built within God’s community. You could be introduced to God but you are responsible for your relationship with God. It does not depend on Prayer-warrior mother, or committed-Christian father. So that Jesus needed a personal confession from His disciples apart from what people were saying. We can end up making choices that leave us in bad places spiritually and emotionally if we don’t have a good relationshipw with God. But when we belong to God, no circumstances can take us away from His love. The Bible says: ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:38-39). It is important to establish good relationship that gives you insight into the workings of God around you
Before you ask God for material success, ask Him for a personal relationship with Him. That gives us the ability to interpret life as God does – to see what He sees in a person or situation; the ability to see through God’s eyes, hear through His ears, think through His mind, and feel through His heart. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning
Fr. Karabari Paul