FIRST READING

“I will make a new covenant. I will emember their sin no more.”

A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31—34)

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, and I showed myself their Master, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbour and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 5 1:12-13. 14- 15.18- 19 (R. 12a)

R/. Create a pure heart for me, O God

Create a pure heart for me, O God;

renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence;

take not your holy spirit from me. R/.

Restore in me the joy of your salvation;

sustain in me a willing spirit.

I will teach transgressors your ways,

that sinners may return to you. R/.

R/. Create a pure heart for me, O God.

For in sacrifice you take no delight;

burnt offering from me would not please you.

My sacrifice to God, a broken spirit:

a broken and humbled heart, O God,

you will not spurn. R/.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“You are Peter, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 16: 13-23)

At that time: When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. 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 on the third day be raised. And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

There were various false ideas about Jesus’ identity. Peter had got it right when he said: “You are the Christ.” But he was wrong when he advised Jesus not to tread the way of the cross. Jesus rebuked him by saying, “Get behind me, Satan.” Jesus knew that the way of the cross, the narrow way, is the way of glory, but avoiding the cross is the way of the world. Just like many believers today, Peter thought of the cross as repulsive. Hence it is not surprising that not all Christian preachers are willing to preach about the crucified Christ. The Gospel of Prosperity seems to be more attractive than the message of the cross. But we should always remember there is no cross without a crown, and no crown without a cross.

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