Word of the day
Reading of the day
A Reading from the Book of Genesis
God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them:
“Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth.
Dread fear of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth
and all the birds of the air,
upon all the creatures that move about on the ground
and all the fishes of the sea;
into your power they are delivered.
Every creature that is alive shall be yours to eat;
I give them all to you as I did the green plants.
Only flesh with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat.
For your own lifeblood, too, I will demand an accounting:
from every animal I will demand it,
and from one man in regard to his fellow man
I will demand an accounting for human life.
If anyone sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed;
For in the image of God
has man been made.
Be fertile, then, and multiply;
abound on earth and subdue it.”
God said to Noah and to his sons with him:
“See, I am now establishing my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
and with every living creature that was with you:
all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals
that were with you and came out of the ark.
I will establish my covenant with you,
that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed
by the waters of a flood;
there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.”
“This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come,
of the covenant between me and you
and every living creature with you:
I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.”
Gospel of the day
From the Gospel according to Mark
Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Words of the Holy Father
With these two questions, Jesus seems to say that it is one thing to follow the prevailing opinion, and another to encounter him and open oneself to his mystery: there one discovers the truth. Prevailing opinion contains a true but partial response; Peter, and with him the Church of the past, present and always, by the grace of God, responds with the truth: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Jesus is the Son of God: hence he is perennially alive as his Father is eternally alive. This is the novelty that grace ignites in the heart of those who are open to the mystery of Jesus: the non-mathematical — but even stronger, inner — certainty of having encountered the Wellspring of Life, Life itself made flesh, visible and tangible in our midst. This is the experience of Christians, and it is not their merit, not that of we Christians; it is not our merit, but comes from God; it is a grace of God, the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. All this is contained in the seed of Peter’s response: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. (Angelus, 29 June 2018)