August 23, 2020
Dwayne Johnson is a champion professional wrestler and action movie star who everyone calls "The Rock." Why? Well, anyone who has seen him in movies like "The Fast and The Furious" knows that he plays the part of a strong, powerful handsome force for bringing about justice. His movies usually involve The Rock blowing things up, shooting, or just beating up the bad guys. Of course, the parts he is playing are pretend. But clearly, he is called The Rock because of how solid, strong, and powerful he is. People like him because, like a rock, he cannot be moved and will be there for you to get the job done, even if it does happen with a good deal of violence.
So, when we look at our Gospel this weekend, we see Jesus and Peter. Jesus names Peter, "The Rock." Really? Well, yes, Jesus knows that Peter is solid like a rock and you can count on him to get the job done. Only, this is not pretend. Jesus is counting on Peter to get done the job of spreading his message all around the world. And Peter does exactly that. So well, in fact, that 2000 years later in every corner of the world, we are still talking about Jesus and his message! And Peter does all this, in the real world, he is not "pretend," and he accomplishes it without any violence!
But how did Jesus know that Peter was the one to lead the Church? What was it in Peter that he saw that made him call Peter, "The Rock" (The name Peter actually means, "rock.") Today's Gospel tells us that Jesus asked Peter who he thought Jesus was, and Peter responded: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Not "a Christ," but the Christ. Not a son of God, but "the Son of the living God." Jesus knew that anyone who recognizes him as God will be given the ability by God to accomplish whatever good he sets out to do. You and I, when we see Jesus this way, become "rocks," solid and strong whom everyone can count on. So, this week, ask yourself, "Who is Jesus?" If you can say with Peter, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," then you too will become someone people can count on. Someone who will get things done. You too, will become a "rock!"