The Foundation Within

08-27-2023Weekly ReflectionReflection from

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Matthew 16:13

Today’s Gospel scene takes place about twenty miles north of the Sea of Galilee outside of Herod’s jurisdiction and away from the Pharisees’ watchful eyes. This is a private conversation between Jesus and His disciples that took place where they could speak freely. For that reason, this conversation is particularly personal in nature in that the disciples felt free to express their personal convictions without fear of retribution. As the conversation unfolds, Jesus asks two consecutive questions.


Begging for Scraps of Mercy

08-20-2023Weekly ReflectionReflection from

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” Matthew 15:21–22

After Jesus was harshly challenged by the Pharisees, He and His disciples took a 35-mile journey to the northwest to a region that was in pagan territory and outside of the jurisdiction of Herod and the Jewish leaders. It might have been a time of repose for Him and His disciples and an opportunity for Jesus to form the disciples more directly.


Overcoming the Impossible

08-13-2023Weekly ReflectionReflection from

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Matthew 14:22–23

Our Gospel today presents us with two different images to ponder. The first one is recorded above, and the second one is the story of Jesus walking on the water. In the second story, the disciples were rowing against the wind and waves in the early morning before the sun rose.


The Glory of the Transfiguration

08-06-2023Weekly ReflectionReflection from

All three of the Synoptic Gospels record the event of the Lord’s Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8Mark 9:2–8Luke 9:28–36). Just prior to the Transfiguration, all three Gospels also record Jesus’ trip to Caesarea Philippi with His disciples, located about thirty miles north of the Sea of Galilee. Caesarea Philippi was a primarily pagan Greek town occupied by the Romans. The Greek god Pan was worshiped there in a cave thought to be bottomless and often referred to as the gate to the netherworld because of its association with the pagan god. It was there that Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was. Peter declared, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus then blessed Peter and announced His intent to build His Church upon Peter, declaring that “the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it…” (Matthew 16:16–18).