The Gospel today is one of the all time classics and is well known to us. We know it from the Catechism and indeed we read it only eight weeks ago on the Holy Father’s Feast day at the end of June.
Jesus asks all the apostles: Whom do men say that I am? The answer covers a great section of the prophets, Elijah, John the Baptist, Jeremiah or one off the prophets. Then Jesus asks the question: Whom do you say that I am? It is Peter who gives us the answer and his answer is a positive affirmation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
The reply of Jesus is extraordinary. Jesus declares that Simon, now Peter has received a divine inspiration from the Father. “Flesh and blood have not revealed this to you but the heavenly Father.” Peter’s answer is not based on his own judgement or his thoughts or suspicions. It is based on divine inspiration.
We have knowledge of Jesus as Lord through the gift of the Holy Spirit. There is no way we could come to this knowledge without divine help. Grace is a gift of God.
Peter is rewarded for being faithful to inspiration. He is given a new name, he is the Rock on which Jesus will build his Church which will last forever.
Then follows the great secret. The apostles are not to tell anyone!!! They have yet to learn of the suffering that must accompany this title of Messiah. There is more to this story!!!!!