Commentary on the Gospel of

NOVICE MASTER Fr. Johnson Joseph, cmf

The knowledge about Jesus and faith in him are two different aspects.  Peter’s knowledge about Jesus, which was right, was not enough to be a disciple. Knowledge is from hearsay and the faith is the result of an enduring process. St. Ambrose said, ‘Jesus preferred to be a defender of his passion so that faith should come through action not through hearsay.’ Gospel is shallow when only the victory and comfort is announced. Faith is shallow when suffering is not allowed to penetrate into inner soul. Jesus did not accept the confession of Peter not because it was wrong, but it had yet to undergo the painful process of penetration into his inner self.  The awareness of rejection, suffering and death that Jesus went through, validate true knowledge and faith in Jesus.

The full understanding of the following of Jesus is not obtained through theoretical instruction, but by adhering wholeheartedly to his proposal and by embracing willingly the cross. The path Jesus marked for his followers is one of self-gift, abandonment, service and death, but that is not the end, there is the resurrection. This is the assurance of God’s intervention to bring victory. How much are we ready to face suffering and death when they arrive? Often there is fear to profess one’s faith and proclaim the Gospel. Jesus’ own words echo all through reminding us that there is a death precedes the certainty of resurrection.

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