“Water came forth abundantly.”
A reading from the Book of Numbers (Numbers 20: 1-13)
In those days: The sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. Now there was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people contended with Moses, and said, “Would that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.” Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tent of meeting, and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord said to Moses, “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water; so you shall bring water out of the rock for them; so you shall give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and he showed himself holy among them.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 95: 1-2.6-7abc.7d-9 (R. 7d.ba)
R/. O that today you would listen to his voice!
Harden not your hearts.
Come, let us ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come into his presence, giving thanks;
let us hail him with a song of praise. R.
O come; let us bow and bend low.
Let us kneel before the God who made us,
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand. R.
R/. O that today you would listen to his voice!
O that today you would listen to his voice!
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your forebears put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.” R.
Alleluia. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 16: 13-23)
“You are Peter, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
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.
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.