Sunday, June 23, 2013

Today's Mass Reading - Sunday, June 23, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:1
10 Thus says the Lord: I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and petition; and they shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they shall grieve over him as one grieves over a first-born. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem shall be as great as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 13: On that day there shall be open to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, a fountain to purify from sin and uncleanness.
P S A L M - Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
R: My soul is thirsting for you; O Lord my God.
1 [2] O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my fleshpines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. (R) 2 [3] Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, 3 [4] for your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you. (R) 4 [5] Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name. 5 [6] As with the riches of a banquetshall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. (R) 7 [8] You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. 8 [9] My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me. (R)
2ND READING - Galatians 3:26-29
26 Brothers and sisters: Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.
Luke 9:18-24

18 Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’ ” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” 21 He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. 22 He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” 23 Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”



The focus of most reflections today would be Jesus’ question: “Who do you say I am?” For once, I would like to do a reverse and focus on its flip side: “Who do you say you are?” The former is all about Him; the latter is all about us.

       Both are questions of great importance. They are questions of identity, and identity affects everything that we are and do. Identity has far ranging consequences. If one does not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, then one’s behavior will be in accordance with that denial or non-acceptance.

       I have been a priest and preacher long enough to know that, in many cases in life, “it takes two to tango.” A capable public speaker performs better on account of what is known as “audience sympathy.” A good teacher becomes even better in the presence of receptive students who are willing to learn, just as much as the teacher is willing to impart knowledge. A good master interacts well with good disciples, and a leader could only lead well in proportion to the subjects’ capacity to show allegiance and loyalty.

       While the Lord’s question to the disciples is, as theologians put it, a “Christological” question, the latter is a simple question that is aimed directly at the heart, not mind, of each one of us. It’s time we also look at ourselves closely as we reflect on this issue of Jesus’ identity.

       Some years ago, a Church leader, speaking about the emerging political problems occasioned by so much “hatred” for the top leader, hit the nail right on the head when he said, “It’s not so much a problem of leadership, as a problem of the led.”

       Let us look at ourselves. I think that for the most part, readers of this book already know and confess that Jesus is Lord and Savior, as Peter confessed. But we do need to ask ourselves: “Who are we as His disciples?” “Who are we as His followers?” That is the question! Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTION: Who are you as Jesus’ follower?
I take my identity from You, Lord. May my life reflect that identity and may it be pleasing to You.

St. John Fisher, pray for us.

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