In today’s extract from St Matthew’s Gospel we see that Jesus has to give the Disciples some rather unpleasant news. It doesn’t sound as though he found it very easy. Telling your group of friends that you are going to have to suffer and die would be difficult for anyone; and it certainly wasn’t any easier for Jesus just because he was the Son of God.
In today’s Gospel reading we have one of the most important texts which underpins the structure of the Church. It is of course the great confession of Peter’s faith and Christ’s declaration: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.”
The extract from St Matthew’s Gospel presented to us this Sunday seems to present us with a somewhat different aspect of Jesus’ character than we have seen until now. He seems unusually brusque and dismissive of the Canaanite woman. She wants a demon cast out from her daughter and is remarkably persistent even resorting to shouting after Jesus and his companions in an effort to embarrass him into exorcising the girl.
The Gospels are not long documents. The events which comprise the public ministry of Jesus are presented to us in the briefest possible terms and the Evangelists move very rapidly from one incident to another.
The Feast of the Transfiguration comes around every year on 6th August but we usually miss it because it most frequently falls on a weekday and is not a Holyday of Obligation. This year, however, this lovely feast lands on a Sunday and so we are able to give it a bit more consideration than usual. It is good that we do this because the Transfiguration is a very important feast yet all too often one which is forgotten.
Father Alex McAllister SDS
Parish Priest of
St Thomas à Becket