WRITINGS FOR OUR RESCUE
In Caesarea Philippi, a city built by Philip in honor of Caesar, Jesus establishes an important and decisive dialogue for the life of faith of the Apostles and of his entire Church. With a question, Jesus invites the whole Church to rethink before Him. "And who do you say I am?" Jesus does not want to know a scientific definition about Him, he does not want concepts about his person. He already knew the way of thinking of those who killed the prophets before HIM, he also knew what human beings are capable of doing with power in their hands. In this text, what interests Him is the adhesion of His disciples to Him and to his work. Knowledge alone does not say anything, it does not elevate anyone. Often it serves only to deceive those who know the illusion of a universe of pride and self-sufficiency. It is not that kind of knowledge that serves the discovery of Jesus. Here it is an experience in the intimacy of a life of encounter, openness to the action of God and faith. The apostles lived with Jesus, listened to Him, learned from Him, saw His miracles and experienced His merciful action. Jesus' life with them was the most perfect school of life and faith. So, confirming what they say about Him does not mean anything, because what they say does not match the reality of the Master. Knowledge of the reality of Jesus requires personal experience and self-surrender, renunciation of the worldly mentality and acceptance of the logic of God.
2. "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (συ ει ο χριστος ο υιος του θεου του ζωντος). Pedro tells the truth about the Master, but he does not know the depth of that statement. In fact, it was professed by inspiration from God. Peter did not imagine Jesus as Messiah according to the thinking of God, but according to the mentality of the Jews. Even so, Jesus respects his statement and, among the 44 beatitudes of the New Testament, he dedicates one to Forgiveness: “Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah…”. In Peter's statement there are two crucial points for faith: the Messiah (the Anointed One) and also the Son of God. The term Son, in the original Greek, is preceded by the definite article, indicating that only Jesus is the Son by antonyms, that is, by essence. From all eternity, He is the Son. That is why this revelation could only have come from the Father. Human beings would be unable to understand it. A demonstration of Peter's incomprehension, despite the proclamation of faith made, occurs at the end of the text, when Jesus said that he would suffer a lot and die by the elders, the high priests and the teachers of the Law, but that he would rise in the third one day, Peter, manifests himself and, once again, demonstrates not knowing the type of Messiah that was Jesus. In Pedro's two statements, there is a tremendous ignorance about the Savior's Person and mission.
3. For his part, Jesus does not give up the mission that he wants to accomplish through him: my Church, and the power of hell can never overcome it "(Mt 16,18, Lk 22,31-32; Jn 21,15-17). Simon is called Πετρος, which is not the same thing as πετρα. Πετρος is translated as stone, but not as rock. The Greek language makes this differentiation, using πετρα to refer to the term rock. This means that it is not Peter the ROCK, but Christ. In this way, the word ROCK will always be linked to Jesus Christ and, because of HIM, to FAITH, as total adherence to Him. The rock on which Christ built His Church is not the human figure of Peter, but the unshakable FAITH in Jesus. Christ as the “Messiah, Son of God”, the God made flesh, the cornerstone of salvation. No form of faith is said, but the FAITH professed by Peter. This means that professing the truth about Jesus Christ requires participation in His reality. Hence why Simon became also Πετρα (stone), with the mission of justifying in faith and being the visible head of the Lord's flock. Christ is the living Rock, and the baptized are “living stones in the spiritual building, which is Christ”.
4. Next, Jesus shows that it is HIS CHURCH (οικοδομησω μου την εκκλησιαν). Jesus did want the Church he loved, for which he gave his life and rose again. His flock is not a sect within Judaism, but an absolutely new reality, based on the 12 apostles and faith in Him as the Messiah and Son of God. The Church is not an invention of the apostles, but the wife of Christ, the authentic instrument of salvation wanted by God for the world. The Church is Jesus' favorite flock, it is His new family, born of faith and baptism, it is His Mystical Body, the Spiritual Building, the Assembly of the righteous, of those who were born into a new life, all of us who were inserted into Him , we become children and participants in the divine nature.
He wants to save us and teaches us about love.