This Sunday’s Gospel reading (Mk 8:27-35) is about things we take for granted.
I’ve never been to Caesarea Philippi.
(I made it to the Holy Land, but my flight arrived half a day later than the rest of my group, so I “missed the bus” to Caesarea Philippi… But I got to enjoy a pleasant evening in Nazareth by myself — I really shouldn’t complain.)
If I could have been numbered among the lucky few who were there with Jesus when he asked the Big Question, “Who do you say that I am?” I’d like to think that I would have answered like Simon Peter:
“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Wouldn’t we all?
But perhaps that’s being presumptuous. After all, only one man actually said it. Everyone else present bit their tongue.
So how is it possible that I can say it today, over 2000 years later, thousands of miles from the spot where Peter said it? By the same faith that Peter had, that’s how.
Saint Peter’s confession was not just a lucky guess. He did not just blurt out the first stray thought that entered his mind. He had a privileged gift that you and I do not have of being a first hand apostle of Jesus Christ. He also had the gift of faith.
In a way, I’m glad I missed the bus to Caesarea Philippi. It made me reflect on the more important things that I so often take for granted. Just to be able to say Jesus Christ is Lord is a blessing in itself.