A heartfelt witness – Friday, 25th week in ordinary time – Lk 9:18-22

Please note that these reflections are best read only after you have read the Gospel text and kept besides you as a reference. The aim of these reflections is to teach and not merely preach.

Jesus’ Galilean ministry is drawing to a close and this section (9:7-50) will focus on the response of people to Jesus’ ministry. We have already encountered Herod who wants to ‘see’ Jesus but does not ‘seek’ Him.  For Herod Jesus is merely an object of curiosity.

The reading of today which falls in this larger section, took place a few days after the feeding of the five thousands for the text begins with the words, “once when Jesus was praying along with only the disciples near him.” In the Gospel of St Luke, the reference to Jesus at prayer is indicative that something theologically important is about to occur.

In asking the disciples who do people say he is Jesus wishes to elicit a response from those closest to him and to know what is in the mind of the Galileans. The response of the eleven concurs with the response given to Herod when he sought to inquire about Jesus (see9:7-9). Some thought Jesus was John the Baptist, others Elijah or still others one of the prophets who had arisen.

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