“Who do you say I am?” we hear Jesus ask his disciples and therefore asks us as well. Who do you say that Jesus is? We could probably give the same answer as Peter. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We know what Peter could not have known at that time: That Jesus redeemed us when he died on the cross, that He was raised to eternal life with the Father, and that He is still with us today, especially as we gather together in His name and receive Him in the Eucharist.
The line Jesus uses to praise Peter on his affirmation of Jesus as the Christ is interesting, “For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” He is correct in saying that he himself has not revealed this to Peter nor to anyone. He did not wish anyone to think the Messiah came to overthrow the government and reestablish the earthly kingdom of Israel. Remember that Jesus himself taught his disciples how to pray. He had already taught the prayer we know as the Lord’s Prayer. So when Jesus tells Peter that his heavenly Father has revealed to him that Jesus is the Christ, he may be suggesting that Peter has learned this through prayer. Then and now, prayer can be an opportunity for better understanding. God, let the “amen” we say at communion be our personal affirmation of Peter’s answer.
Love, Peace, Joy,