Thursday of the 18th Week of the Year

Matt 16:13-23

Peter’s Confession about Jesus


Peter’s story illustrates how the Lord entrusted the Church he founded in the hands of imperfect humans. The history of the Church buffeted by internal dissent and confusion from the early centuries right down to our own times, has proven Christ’s words: “And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, “ (Matt 16:18).

There were numerous popes and religious leaders, who were paragons of virtues, but we cannot gloss over certain church leaders who were totally devoid of the right qualifications to lead; even today, there are priests and bishops who by their misconduct and indiscretion have caused grave scandal. But through all the good and the bad, the Church has withstood the torrents and violent storms that have threatened it because it’s founded on rock.

With God as our security – to quote that once-popular jingle – “nakasandal tayo sa pader,” (we have a wall to lean on). Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD Bible Diary 2002


People come into our life for a reason…season…lifetime…

Ever since I received this email message, it made me reflect on the many friendships I have. It has also made me reflect on my relationship with God. Is God my god for a reason? Season? Lifetime? “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked his disciples.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need. They seem to be like Godsend and they are. Then the time comes when the relationship ends. Sometimes they die or walk away. The need has been met, the prayer has been answered and it is time to move on.

When someone comes into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow and learn. They may bring exceptional joy, peace, make you laugh, teach you a lesson. Believe it; it is real, but only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

People use people for a reason. People \relate with people for a season. Lifetime relationships are few and blessed are those who experience it.

I would like to believe that it is how we relate with God that changes. God does not change in the way of loving us. People change. God remains. When we figure it out who God is in our life, you and I will know exactly what to do. (EFT, SSps Bible Diary 2004)


Most chapels in our parish have a small hut where people gather before and after the Mass. That’s where they also serve snacks after or even heavy meals at times especially during barrio fiestas.

One time before mass, while waiting for more people to come, I approached a little girl of about four years of age. She was seated at the other end of the bamboo bench inside the hut. Bending my body towards the girl, I greeted her saying: “Hello, Kumusta ka?” She immediately asked me: “ Sino ka?” (Who are you?) I was taken aback and i din’t know what to tell her at that moment. There was a long silence; inside me, I kept repeating the question “Sino ako? Who am I?”

In today’s gospel, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” He is  throwing the same question to us today and I believe we can answer such question if we can genuinely answer the question: “Who am I?”

A Christian is a child of God by virtue of the sacrament of baptism. As a child of God, a Christian shares in the life of Christ and in the mission of Christ. Thus St. Paul the Apostle could admonish his Christian believers to be of the mind and heart of Christ. And just as the mission of Christ would not be made perfect without the cross, so also the life and mission of a Christian is not complete without sharing in the cross of Christ. (Fr. Antonio Pegon, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


During days of summer, the two sons of my niece busy themselves with tutorial sessions as grade schoolers. I asked them once who their teacher was. In unison they replied: “Hindi naming alam!” In my surprise, I blurted out, “Sessions are almost over hindi nyo alam sino ang inyong teacher?”

Today, Jesus the Teacher asks His pupils: “Who do say that I am?” Peter came to the rescue and correctly pronounced his reply: “You are the Messiah the Son of the living God.” Any correct deserves the teacher’s smile and acknowledgment. Indeed Jesus was happy and replied: You are rock, on this rock I will build my church.”

How much do we know of our teacher Jesus? On one occasion Jesus announced: “You know me if you keep my commandments.” Every now and then, i ask the sons of my niece if they have any assignments to be accomplished. In our life as Christians we are asked to do the same. How much of Jesus’ ‘assignments’ have we accomplished? St. Cajetan made Christ happy as he constantly reminded people that they are all pilgrims in this world and true home is heaven.  How about making a promise to the Teacher that we will do our assignments? In doing so, we deserve the approval and acknowledgment of the Teacher. (Fr. Yoyoy Rebucias, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


August 4, 2016 Thursday

A married guy was asked by the priest who solemnized his wedding how things were getting along after a couple of years. He replied banteringly, “Father, I’ve found out that there are three rings in marriage–engagement ring, wedding ring, suffe-RING.” (For other couples, it might be a boxing ring).

That funny story show that even in the best of relationships, there’s suffering.

In today’s gospel, Jesus tells His disciples that He, the Son of God, the Messiah, will have to suffer grievously and be put to death” (Mt 16,21), something which Peter cannot comprehend. Pain and sufferings are part of human life in this “valley of tears.”  In the words of an existentialist philosopher: “Suffering is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.”

Sufferings are experienced bodily, mentally, emotionally and psychologically like the loneliness of a solo parent, the drudgery of work aggravated by an unfriendly atmosphere in the work place.

Jesus further says, “If you want to be my follower…you must carry your own cross” (verse 24). “Carrying your cross” does not, of course, mean that you just accept your fate and not do anything about it. If you can prevent illness by avoiding an unhealthy lifestyle like smoking, drinking in excess or eating cholesterol-rich food, by all means do it.

But if suffering is INEVITABLE or beyond human control, like miseries caused by devastating natural calamities or physical pains of old age, the Christian response is to off er them in union with the sufferings of Christ so they become meritorious and not wasted. In the words of St. Paul: “If you suffer with Christ, you will also rise with Him.”

Then there are pains that are INFLICTED by people. Think, for instance, of kidnappers and drug traffickers, corrupt officials who, without qualms, impoverish the country.

ASK YOURSELF: Am I doing something to remedy or alleviate the sufferings of those I live or work with? Or, do I cause them pain? (Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD CKMS, QC Bible 2016)


COMMITMENT. Today’s liturgy presents three types of commitment. The first type of commitment is how Peter committed to the Lord. It was a commitment from the lips. It was a commitment that emanated from his vocal chords and nothing deeper than that. Peter said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Unfortunately he did not go deeper than his throat and his lips. That is why he could not understand that the Messiah had to suffer. So after he rebuked Jesus, Jesus called him: “Satan”. Jesus saw him as an obstacle.

The second type of commitment is found in the first reading, the commitment to the prophet Jeremiah’s prophecies. He said: “I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people.” It is a commitment deeper than the voice and the lips. It is a commitment from the heart. The heart is not simply the center of emotions. The heart is not simply the one that functions when we watch soap operas and wipe our tears while watching them. The heart is rather the core of the human person; therefore it is a commitment from the core, from the center.

The third commitment is not found in the Scripture. The third commitment is found in today’s feast day of St. Dominic. Before the time of St. Dominic, priests were restricted to the monasteries. During his time, St. Dominic went to the marketplace and started to argue and debate publicly with heretics. He debated and argued publicly with the Albigensians. In other words, he brought Christ to the marketplace. He was no longer confined to the convent, monasteries and the sacristy. He brought Christ and His word to the world.

And so it goes: Commitment from the lips, commitment from the heart, commitment in the world. It is understandable that we begin from the lips, but we must move deeply into our hearts and our commitment to the heart must be proclaimed in the marketplace. (Bp. Soc Villegas, Love Like Jesus p. 75)


PETER, THE ROCK: The original name of Peter when he was born was Simon. That was the name his mother gave him. Jesus changed the name of Simon to Peter. Peter means rock. Rock as in a boulder which strong, massive and almost immovable. So Simon’s name was changed to Peter. Peter signifying a huge, hard rock. What does the rock mean for us? Three S’s.

The firs “S” is Stubborn. Rocks are always hard. Hardness and rock go together. There is no such things as soft rock. A rock is always hard that is why in Tagalog, when we say matigas ang ulo, when we speak of being matigas and ulo, we are actually speaking of being stubborn. And when we speak of pusong parang bato, it does not mean that the heart is really made of rock. It simply means that the heart is so heard. It is incapable of loving, incapable of pity, incapable of feeling anything. The Church of Jesus Christ was founded on stubborn people. And we are the stubborn people, heard-headed people, stiff necked people, arrogant people and sinful people. That is how we are and the Lord started His church on the foundation of stubborn people.

The second “S” is Stable. We don’t build a house on sand because sand is always moving. When the house is built on rock it means that the house is stable, strong, durable and dependable. The Church of Jesus Christ is founded on something that is very stable. And what makes the Church stable? Certainly, it is not our being stubborn. If the Church will depend on our being stubborn, then the Church would have collapsed a long time ago. The stability of the Church, the stability of the rock does not come from us. It comes from God Himself. The rock that is stable, the rock that is firm, refers to Jesus Christ. We are founded on rock and a house that is made of rock rather than wood is more stable. A house of nipa can be blown by the storm. A house of wood can crumble down during earthquake. A house that is made from the rocks is stable. A house that is built on rock is strong and massive. That is the Church given to us by God. Even if we are stubborn, the love of God is stable. Even if we are arrogant, the love of God is dependable. Even if we are weak, the love of God is always strong. A love that can withstand all time.

The third “S” is Spring. When we dig a well, most likely we are going to see water with soil. When water is mixed with soil, it is murky and yellowish, impure and not suitable for drinking. It cannot even be use to wash anything. If we dig deeper through more murky water and sand, soon the water becomes cleaner and clearer. Yet the water is still hazy. It is when we hit the rock that water becomes pure. Rocks have the capacity of purifying water. The more rocks there are the better the quality of water. That is why when Moses hit the rock in the desert, pure clean eater gushed forth from the rock. This is a symbol of the providence of God. So when the church is said to be founded on life-giving source and that life-giving source is God Himself. The church must be an instrument of life all the time as water is a symbol of life all the time. It is a spring of water gushing forth. It is not like the hazy water from the sand nor is it muddy water coming from the soil but pure clean drinking water coming from the rock of springs. The church is founded on that type of a rock that brings forth clear living water. Please take note that the Church of Jesus Christ is not founded on pure perfection. It is based on the rock of our stubbornness and yet it is met with the stability of God’s love and nourished by the spring of life that the Lord continues to give to the Church. “You are rock,”
the Lord said, “and upon this rock of your stubbornness, upon this rock of stability of my love, upon this rock which is the source of spring water, i will build mu Church.” Let us thank God that we belong to that Church. We maybe stubborn but God’s love is stable. We maybe hard headed, but the life of the spring that God offers us will be there until the end of time. 9Bp. Socrates Villegas Love Like Jesus, pp. 108-109)



Sino ba ang iniangat natin sa buhay? I saw a father nga gipas-an niya ang anak niya kay maglantaw lang og basketball. The father did not know that he made himself small and allowed his child to feel big. Sad to saymarami tayong mga kapatid na magkapatid na sial pa yong nagsisiraan instead of helping and sharing each other. May nabasa ako na ang anak yong pumatay ng isang tao, classmate niya, yong driver nila ang ipinakulong. Where is our commitment for the people, in the world?


v. 23: “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Sometimes like Peter, it’s not easy for us to accept suffering, pain and death, or even a seeming weak and defeated Jesus. See Jesus’ weakness as your strength, his pain as remedy, his death your life. Have the mind of God (Ching OP).


THURSDAY OF THE 18TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – MATEO 16:13-23. Asa man gikan ang atong pagkaila ni Kristo? Giingnan ni Jesus si Pedro: “Simon, anak ni Jonas, bulahan ka, tungod kay ang nagsulti kanimo niini dili tawo kondili ang akong Amahan nga atua sa langit.” Kining ebanghelyo nagtudlo kanato nga ang atong pagkaila ni Kristo usa ka dakong grasya, bunga sa inspirasyon nga nagagikan sa Dios Amahan. Makadasig ug makapahimo natong mapaubsanon kining maong kamatuoran. “Makadasig” tungod kay kini nagpasabot nga wala kita mag-inusara sa atong pagpangita sa kamatuoran ug kaluwasan. Aduna diay Dios Amahan nga nagtultol kanato sa dalan padulong sa Iyang Anak. Makapahimo natong “mapaubsanon” tungod kay kini nagpasabot nga sa atong kaugalingong katakos dili nato mailhan ang Dios diha kang Kristo ug dili nato madawat ang Iyang kaluwasan. Posted by Abet Uy


Reflection for Thursday August 7, Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 16:13-23Reflection: There was an 84 years old sick Eucharistic minister that I regularly visit for his Sunday nourishment with the Body of Christ. He was frail and bed ridden already but whenever he noticed that I was in their house. He would muster enough strength so that he could sit down for Holy Communion. Until the time came that he was so weak already that he couldn’t anymore sit down.

One important thing that I noticed about him was he never complained why he was poor and suffering. As I go to him every Sunday never did I hear him complain about anything. He carried his suffering without questioning God until he eventually died. Perhaps he knew that to suffer was part of his discipleship with Jesus.

When Jesus told Peter and the disciples that He must undergo sufferings for the accomplishment of His mission. Peter reacted with indignation, perhaps Peter couldn’t accept the fact that this powerful and charismatic man would suffer. Perhaps because of the power of Jesus peter thought that Jesus was already immune to suffering/s. But Jesus was not exempted from suffering HE had to go through it for it was part of His  destiny and mission.

How about us, don’t we question Jesus why we have to go through sufferings?  Don’t we question Jesus, why me Lord considering that I am your follower? Perhaps Jesus would tell us this: Take courage my child, your suffering/s is a reminder that I am always here for you. – mjdasma Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Reflection for Thursday August 4, Saint John Vianney, Priest; Matthew 16:13-23

Reflection: Is there a reward for a person who exerts effort to know Jesus deeply? Yes there is and this is proven in the gospel reading for today.

When Jesus said to His disciples: “But who do you say that I am?” And Simon Peter knew Him well when he said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Aside from the gift of knowing Jesus which God gave Peter, surely Peter also exerted effort to know Jesus. Otherwise Peter would have not said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

What was the reward of Peter? Jesus rewarded Simon Peter when He founded the church through him: you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church (Matthew 16:18).

What is then the reward for us if we exert effort to know Jesus? The rewards are enormous, infinite and unfathomable: such as peace of mind, humility, obedient and loving children and many more.

Through our Baptism we are already given the gift of knowing Jesus and having a personal relationship with Him. Let us not throw this gift away by not opening it, to open this is to have an interest in Jesus.

This we can do by reading His life story in the scripture through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. By living His teachings and by our sacred presence in the celebration of the Holy Mass.

Do you also want to receive rewards from Jesus? –  Marino J. Dasmarinas


ALL THAT FOR NOTHING: From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. – Matthew 16:21

I woke up to the loud sound of rain. The drizzle that began the previous night hadn’t stopped and had become even stronger. I turned on the TV and checked the Internet to confirm if classes were suspended. Unfortunately, they were not.

As I drove my kids to their school, we had to contend with the downpour. The traffic was heavy due to flooded areas and stalled vehicles. I had to stay calm in the midst of the constant complaints of my kids that they were late and why classes were not suspended. I thought my problems had ended when I finally dropped them off at school. I was wrong. My bad day continued as the route to my office was congested. After being motionless in traffic for 20 minutes, I got a call from my wife. She got a call from the kids’ school that classes had been suspended five minutes earlier! I had to go through all that trouble for nothing.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples about the suffering He will face. He went through all the pain because of His great love for us. Let’s not allow His sacrifice to end up just for nothing. Let’s follow His commandments and live the life He wants us to live. Alvin Fabella (

Reflection: God went through it all for you because He loves you.

Lord, thank You for Your love. May Your love continue to inspire me to pursue a growing relationship with You. Amen.


1ST READING: God continually renews His covenant with us because we break it. He is always faithful and we are the ones who fall short and nullify our agreements. Let us remember that the first step in conversion is the humility of repentance. We need to repent of our sins in order to fully appreciate the extent of the damage sin has caused in our relationship with God and one another. Jeremiah 31:31-34

GOSPEL: The Apostles have learned a lot, but they have not yet understood or accepted that Jesus is going to suffer. This is understandable as their concept of a messiah is one of a great warrior king who frees his people. Jesus’ battle is against the sins and powers of evil within, not the armies and dominions of this world. One of the biggest lessons that the Gospel teaches us is that the battle for faith is fought within one’s self and not outside. Matthew 16:13-23

think:  One of the biggest lessons that the Gospel teaches us is that the battle for faith is fought within one’s self and not outside.


THE POWER TO LOOSE SINS: I do not have a lot of time to argue with people who take specific Scripture passages literally and ignore many others, especially those that support our many Catholic practices. They love to preach against these practices, like the sacrament of reconciliation. Today’s Gospel does not allow too many logical interpretations other than the one the Catholic Church gives it — that the power of priests and bishops to forgive sins has been given by God.

The reality is that, without institutionalizing the gifts of the Spirit, there is no way to retain order in the life of the Church. The  Montanist heresy demonstrated this when it rejected the authority of the bishops and allowed everyone to live “as the Spirit led them.” This does not work, as sin leads people astray. Rules are needed in order to keep the peace and make organized communities a reality. Chaos is the inevitable result if there is no real authority structure. That is precisely the witness of the Protestant and born again churches that simply split and make a new church when they disagree strongly enough over a point of doctrine or practice.

The description in today’s Gospel allows for an ordered process of reconciliation within the Church and the lives of its people. Yes, we can ask God’s forgiveness directly and I am sure He will forgive us. But what about the damage we have done to the Church and other peoples’ lives by sinning? The sacrament, as celebrated in the Catholic Church, allows for the human dimension of forgiveness to be ministered, and the priest to stand in for both God and the Church to administer it. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTION: Whenever you go to confession, do you realize that it is Jesus, wrapped in the person of the priest, who listens to you and absolves you of your sins?

Jesus, I pray for priest confessors. Help them to be attentive in the sacrament so that the advice they give will help us grow in our experience of Your mercy, love and forgiveness.


NO TO VIOLENCE – And the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18

ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, spells terror, especially when you see photos of hooded men brandishing weapons at their captives, mostly religious minorities and Christians. There were even news reports that it has vowed to conquer Vatican as well and kill our beloved Pope Francis.

On the domestic front, we also see endless violence, particularly between the military and the Muslim groups in Mindanao. Even in the metro, we hear of people killing each other due to road rage, domestic disputes and all other forms of senseless killings.

As I write this, I heave a big sigh. When will all this violence stop? Where is respect for life? Where is fear of hell?

But faith — that still, small voice within — tells me everything will be OK. God is in control. And while He may allow these things to take place, He is with all the victims of violence. The Church He founded will live on. His Kingdom will reign and dissipate all other kingdoms — not with violence but with love.

And then all will be one. Tess V. Atienza (

Reflection: Spend a few minutes of silence and pray for all the victims of violence.

Lord God, You are our King. You will not let evil triumph over this world.


FAITH IN ACTION – Peter’s profession of faith, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” took place in Caesarea Philippi, a Gentile territory. This was a place where they consider faith in God as irrelevant. Peter’s profession of faith indicates the universality of the mission of Jesus as the Messiah. His mission to proclaim the Father’s love and offer of salvation is not only for the few chosen ones but for everyone. Peter’s profession of faith suggests an invitation to follow the Lord and participate in the very nature of the Messiah.

In that sacred profession of faith, Jesus gave Peter the authority to head the Church. But this authority is not meant to dominate but to serve and to offer one’s life for all. Peter, like Jesus, will perform the greatest possible love for everyone, the sacrifice on the Cross for the salvation of all.

To profess that Jesus is the Messiah is to live like Jesus. His mission becomes our mission. The content of His heart becomes our treasure. St. John Paul II said, “When we think about the many problems that face you daily, when we think about the many people who are suffering, we think about Christ. In the faces of the poor, I see the face of Christ. In the life of the poor, I see Christ’s life reflected. A Church that wants to be a Church of the poor must heed this challenge, discover its full depth and implement its full truth. We are called to do what Jesus did and proclaim the Gospel to the poor.”

To proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah, we are called to carry the compassionate heart of Jesus to the lonely beggars, the poor in the slum areas, the sick and the dying. We become the compassion of Christ in action — both to the poor and the rich, the oppressed and the oppressor.

Jesus suffers when we suffer. Our pain becomes His pain. Allow our actions in solidarity with the Suffering God to answer His question, “Who do you say that I am?” Fr. Alex Balatbat

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Who is God for you? What is your image of God? How do you proclaim Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Jesus, grant me the grace to experience the infinite compassion of God, that I may begin to share the same compassion with others. Amen.


Thursday 18th Week in Ordinary Time

August 7, 2014

Thursday 18th Week in Ordinary Time

[St. Sixtus II and companions; St. Cajetan]

Jer 31: 31-34 / Ps 51: 12-13, 14-15, 18-19 / Mt 16: 13-23

Reflection: In the gospel reading, Jesus asks his disciples first who other people say he is. Then he asks them who they themselves say he is. He wants to know if their answer is different since they have been following him closely unlike the other people. It is Simon Barjona (Peter’s original name) who acknowledges Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus recognizes that Simon’s answer has been inspired by the Holy Spirit, so he gives him a new name, Peter, which means “rock” and proceeds to proclaim Peter head of the Church. Changing Simon’s name to Peter signifies his new identity, the holder of the key of heaven, the first Pope of the Church founded by Christ, a Church that will last till the end of time because it is built on solid foundation. When Jesus tells his apostles about his going to Jerusalem where he will suffer and die, Peter stops him. Who would want his master to be killed? But Jesus calls him Satan because he is an obstruction to his mission. Peter may have known who Jesus is, but up till then, he has not understood Jesus’ mission.

We too may fall victim to a deceptive mentality caused by our lack of faith in God’s way of accomplishing His plan. As we go through our journey of faith, we get to understand who Jesus is and his ways only if we accept with humility the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in us.

Prayer Requests: We pray …

… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn

… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary

… for families who are in need of healing

… for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.


August 4, 2016

REFLECTION: When God proclaimed the Ten Commandments to Moses, with his own finger (Ex 31:18) he inscribed these commandments on two stone tablets which he entrusted to Moses (Ex 24:12; 32:15-6; Dt 5:22). And, in the subsequent history of Israel, we observe that Israel repeatedly broke her covenant with God. In other words, there was God’s will expressed on the stone tablets, and there was Israel’s own will expressed in her refusal to obey the Commandments. This was possible because the Commandments were distinct from Israel, extraneous to her. But in today’s first reading we learn that God has a plan to change all this dualism. Through the mouth of Jeremiah he says: “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts.” Which means that the law will be henceforth no longer external to Israel. Instead it will become merged with Israel’ heart. And because of this, it will become impossible for Israel to break the law, since the law and Israel will have become one.

Here we have a New Covenant, new because it is no longer written on stone tablets but on human hearts, and therefore has become unbreakable. Is God’s law part of our deep self, so much so that obeying it seems as natural as our heart beat?


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Thursday of the 18th Week of the Year

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