He asks the question, “But who do you say that I am?” They give their answers. It’s a more important question than the first, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” This is a question he asks of each of us. Who do YOU say that I am?
Like good Catholics we reply as Peter did, “The Messiah of God.” Or, “the Christ”. That’s how we’ve been brought up. Good.
What happens at the foot of the cross, however, neither Peter, nor James, nor Judas, nor Matthew, nor any of the other Apostles (save the “beloved disciple”) would know. They had to hear it second hand. Sad. Disturbing. Within me it generates anger. They who witnessed his miracles, worked miracles themselves in his name, heard him preach, teach and pray- yes, these disciples who proclaim him Messiah… have to hear about the moment of redemption, secondhand. Talk about missing out. Pitiful.
What’s the message? Be gentle with yourself because he was gentle with them. “Peace,” he said to them after the Resurrection.
You may proclaim Jesus is Lord but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be a perfect disciple. As Jesus says, it’s a daily-thing. Some days Peter did better than others. The scattered disciples of the cruxifiction remind us that we are not God. And in doing so they remind us that we need God. And if you need God that means you’re not perfect and can’t be. So, be gentle with yourself and do the best you can. Basta. Enough.