First reading Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

There is a time for every occupation under heaven

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:
 
A time for giving birth,
  a time for dying;
  a time for planting,
  a time for uprooting what has been planted.
 
A time for killing,
  a time for healing;
  a time for knocking down,
  a time for building.
 
A time for tears,
  a time for laughter;
  a time for mourning,
  a time for dancing.
 
A time for throwing stones away,
  a time for gathering them up;
  a time for embracing,
  a time to refrain from embracing.
 
A time for searching,
  a time for losing;
  a time for keeping,
  a time for throwing away.
 
A time for tearing,
  a time for sewing;
  a time for keeping silent,
  a time for speaking.
 
A time for loving,
  a time for hating;
  a time for war,
  a time for peace.
 
What does a man gain for the efforts that he makes? I contemplate the task that God gives mankind to labour at. All that he does is apt for its time; but though he has permitted man to consider time in its wholeness, man cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 143(144):1-4 

Blessed be the Lord, my rock.
 
Blessed be the Lord, my rock.
He is my love, my fortress;
  he is my stronghold, my saviour
my shield, my place of refuge.
 
Lord, what is man that you care for him,
  mortal man, that you keep him in mind;
man, who is merely a breath
  whose life fades like a passing shadow?
 
 

Gospel Luke 9:18-22 

‘You are the Christ of God’

One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.
  ‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
 
 
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Jesus, the suffering Messiah

Today, Jesus wants us to respond to the same question that He asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” He does not want a theoretical or intellectual answer from us but from our personal experiences of Him in our lives.
 
From all what He saw and heard from Jesus, Peter sensed that Jesus was more than just a prophet. Thus, he proclaimed, “The Christ of God”. The common Jewish understanding of the Christ or Messiah would be a king who would gain victory over Israel’s enemies. However, Jesus was not to be that kind of Messiah. Instead, he declared Himself to be the Christ who would be rejected, suffered and died by the Jewish authorities. By doing so, Jesus, God in human form, would reveal a God who is not indifferent to human suffering, but He is with us in our crosses of life. Today, we are invited to find God in our brokenness and fragility and come to know Him as God who is with us.
 
Reflective question:
Do I perceive God’s presence with me in the darkness of my suffering?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.