21st Sunday in Ordinaru Time Year A - 24/8/2014 - Gospel: Mt 16: 13-20
ID Card
The census conducted for the first time at the birth of Jesus tells us that at the time of Jesus, any new born baby had no birthday certificate and when they grew up to adulthood there were no identification card that had recorded details of their background and personal details. Naming may be important for a person but it seemed after a death few details were kept after of a person. Local villagers knew another by names and parents' names of that person. Apart from the names there are no other personal details recorded. When a person moved out of the village to go elsewhere for work or to peruse a career s/he became known by the name and name of the village attached to the person of where s/he came from.

The crowds who had followed Jesus and were being fed by Him knew little or was incorrect about who Jesus was. People who had received healing from Jesus from all kind of incurable diseases knew of Him not as who He was but as the miracle healer. Others expected Jesus to be their liberator from the Roman Empire, not free from the bondage of sin and death. Jesus wondered how much people know about Him and whether what they knew was satisfactory. To clarify the situation Jesus asked his disciples about what people talked about Him. The answers the crowds gave were varied.

Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

Jesus was not happy with these answers. He asked his own disciples. By God's grace Peter answered.

'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'.

Jesus told Peter what he knew about Jesus that came from God and this revelation confirmed to Peter the identity of Jesus. Peter's understanding of Jesus' identity came by divine revelation. Jesus entrusted Peter by making him the "rock" of his future Church on earth. Peter is the rock as long as his faith anchored in Christ and all who share his faith also share the solid foundation that Christ conferred upon Peter. Jesus revealed Peter's identification as 'Rock'. It is the new identification and it is not a dead identification but the living one because Jesus continues to make that identification alive. It is also the growing rock, the foundation of God's Church. Jesus also gave Peter the key of God's Church. No one can destroy the rock because it has its foundation on the living God. Both the rock and the key are problematic since people would love to have the kind of authority Christ conferred upon Peter. Demanding to take the key away from Peter to build another church of Christ is the ongoing struggle.  A Church built not on Peter's tradition is questionable. They make claims that it is a true Church of Christ but that is only on the surface; deep down no doubt there is some sort of hidden or the undisclosed agenda.

There are many names given to Jesus but Jesus chose only; there are many people who make claims the church of Christ but Jesus established only one. We know that Christ made Peter the Rock and gave him the key and his identification as rock. The true Church of Christ must have its foundation on Christ and his teachings and it must hand down the faith traditions Peter, the Rock had established based on Christ's love and mercy.