Friday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
as you guide creation
to your law of love.
love one another
eternal life prepared for us.
this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel Reading - Luke 9,18-22
happened that Jesus was praying alone, and his disciples came to him and he put
this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’
answered, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others Elijah; others again one of the
ancient prophets come back to life.’
you,’ he said to them, ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The
Christ of God,’ he said.
gave them strict orders and charged them not to say this to anyone. He said,
‘The Son of man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders
and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on
the third day.’
Gospel today follows the same theme as that of Yesterday: the opinion of the
people on Jesus. Yesterday, beginning with Herod, today it is Jesus who asks
what do people think, the public opinion and the Apostles respond giving the
same opinion which was given yesterday. Immediately follows the first
announcement of the Passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus.
• Luke 9,
18: The question of Jesus after his prayer. “One day, while Jesus was
praying alone, his disciples came to him and he put this question to them: “Who
do the crowds say I am?” In Luke’s Gospel, on several important and decisive
occasions, Jesus is presented in prayer: in his Baptism when he assumes his
mission (Lk 3, 21); in the 40 days in the desert, when, he overcame the
temptations presented by the devil Lk 4, 1-13); the night before choosing the
twelve apostles (Lk 6, 12); in the Transfiguration, when, with Moses and Elijah
he spoke about his passion in Jerusalem (Lc 9, 29); in the Garden when he
suffers his agony (Lk 22, 39-46); on the Cross, when he asks pardon for the
soldier (Lk 23, 34) and when he commits his spirit to God (Lk 23, 46).
• Luke 9,
19: The opinion of the people on Jesus. “They answered: “For some John the
Baptist; others Elijah, but others think that you are one of the ancient
prophets who has risen from the dead”. Like Herod, many thought that John the
Baptist had risen in Jesus. It was a common belief that the prophet Elijah had
to return (Mt 17, 10-13; Mk 9, 11-12; Ml 3, 23-24; Eclo 48, 10). And all
nourished the hope of the coming of the Prophet promised by Moses (Dt 18,15).
This was an insufficient response.
• Luke 9,
20: The question of Jesus to the disciples. After having heard the
opinion of others, Jesus asks: “And you, who do you say I am?” Peter answers:
“The Messiah of God!” Peter recognizes that Jesus is the one whom the people
are waiting for and that he comes to fulfil the promise. Luke omits the
reaction of Peter who tries to dissuade Jesus to follow the way of the cross
and omits also the harsh criticism of Jesus to Peter (Mk 8, 32-33; Mt 16,
• Luke 9,
21: The prohibition to reveal that Jesus is the Messiah of God. “Then
Jesus gave them strict orders and charged them not to say this to anyone”. It
was forbidden to them to reveal to the people that Jesus is the Messiah of God.
Why does Jesus prohibit this? At that time, as we have already seen, everybody
was expecting the coming of the Messiah, but, each one in his own way: some
expected a king, others a priest, others a doctor, a warrior, a judge
or a prophet! Nobody seemed to expect the Messiah Servant, announced by
42, 1-9). Anyone who insists in maintaining Peter’s idea, that is, of a
glorious Messiah, without the cross, understands nothing and will never be able
to assume the attitude of a true disciple. He will continue to be blind,
exchanging people for trees (cf. Mk 8, 24). Because without the cross it is
impossible to understand who Jesus is and what it means to follow Jesus.
Because of this, Jesus insists again on the Cross and makes the second
announcement of his passion, death and resurrection.
• Luke 9,
22: The second announcement of the Passion. And Jesus adds: “The Son of Man is
destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests
and Scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day”. The
full understanding of the following of Jesus is not obtained through
theoretical instruction, but through practical commitment, walking together
with him along the road of service, from Galilee up to Jerusalem. The road of
the following is the road of the gift of self, of abandonment, of service, of
availability, of acceptance of conflict, knowing that there will be a
resurrection. The cross is not an accident on the way; it forms part of our
way. This because in the organized world starting from egoism, love and service
can exist only if they are crucified! Anyone who makes of his life a service to
others disturbs those who live attached to privileges, and suffers.
• We all
believe in Jesus. But there are some who understand him in one way and others
in another way. Today, which is the more common Jesus in the way of thinking of
does propaganda interfere in my way of seeing Jesus? What do I do so as not to
allow myself to be drawn by the propaganda? What prevents us today from
recognizing and assuming the project of Jesus?
be Yahweh, my rock,
trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle,
faithful love, my bastion, my citadel, my Saviour;
behind him. (Ps 144,1-2)