Inspiration Daily

Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 9:1-13

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.”
God added:
“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.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 and 22-23

R. (20b)  From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
 The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence,
That the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion,
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together,
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.

Alleluia See Jn 6:63c, 68c

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 8:27-33

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.” 

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Damian, please go here.

– – –
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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What’s in a Name?

There was a lot of confusion in the New Testament about who exactly Jesus was. Yes, He was the son of Joseph, the carpenter, but there were a lot of other outside whispers that caused a lot of confusion. We see that clearly at the beginning of today’s Gospel reading.

Jesus poses a question to His disciples. “Who do people say that I am?” Aka, “What have you heard about me?” Many responses followed: John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet and possibly more. But the more important question is still to come.

Who do you say that I am? Here, Peter makes a BOLD confession of faith, quite the turnaround from the disciples’ blindness and hard-heartedness in the previous chapter. He proclaims Jesus to be the Messiah, the anointed one or, in Greek, literally “Christ.”

In Baptism, the priest takes chrism, makes the sign of the cross and anoints the new Catholic as priest, prophet, and king in imitation and in union with Christ. Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of all three Old Testament offices (priest, prophet, and king).

As the priest, Jesus is both the sacrifice and the one who makes the offering. As king, He sits on the throne of David and he is the King of Kings. And finally, as a prophet, Jesus is both the prophet and the message.

Then it got me thinking about the importance of a name. A title. An identity. What’s in a name? (And no, we aren’t talking about that famous scene from Romeo and Juliet.)

On a basic, human level, we have a first, middle and last name. At our Confirmation, we sometimes adopt another name, the name of a saint. Marriage also brings about a change of our last name.

I am Erin. I am also a daughter. A friend. A colleague. An assistant. A youth minister. You could have figured out these titles by reading my bio and, yet, I am so much more than this simple list of nouns. These words explain what I am but not who I am.

On a deeper level, I am loved and beloved. I am cherished. I am seen. I am wanted. I am a daughter of the One True King. I am Catholic. But I am also bruised. Broken. Weak. A sinner.

Identity is a lifelong struggle but my bruises and brokenness and weaknesses DON’T define me. It’s all a part of the Catholic life, how my Father looks upon His daughter with such tender love and affection.

But, Lord, who do I say that You are? I can proclaim that you are Savior, Messiah, and Redeemer as long as I have breath but if my actions don’t match my words, they may as well be useless.

May we be unafraid to answer Jesus’s question of “Who do you say that I am” every day of our lives. May we be truthful in our thoughts, words, and actions in proclaiming Christ’s true identity and our identity in Him.

Erin is a Parma Heights, Ohio, native and a 2016 graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She uses her communication arts degree in a couple of different ways: first, as an Athletic Communications Assistant at Baldwin Wallace University and, secondly, as a youth minister at her home parish of Holy Family Church. Although both of her jobs are on complete opposite spectrums, she truly enjoys being able to span the realm of communications. You can follow her on multiple Twitter accounts – @erinmadden2016 (personal), @bwathletics (work) and @HFVision (youth ministry).