In this Sunday’s Gospel we read about Peter’s famous proclamation of Jesus as “Son of the living God.” Jesus responds, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father” (Mt 16). Christ intentionally contrasts “flesh and blood” with his “heavenly Father” – God with man. And, yet, the contrast itself opens the way to the astounding truth of God’s plan for reconciling man to himself: the eternal “Son of the living God” has taken on “flesh and blood” … and that is who is standing before Peter. “Flesh and blood” is now welcomed into eternal communion with the heavenly Father. This is the “depth” of what Peter realized in calling Jesus “Son of the living God.” In Christ, Simon is no longer merely “son of Jonah.” He, too, can become a son of the heavenly Father, an heir to glory and bliss beyond all telling. And so can we. If we let this truth sink in, we will spontaneously exclaim with Saint Paul in the second reading: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!”
[NOTE: This post was originally written for AffirmingGender.com. It was published April 7, 2017.]
I recently saw a video promoting a world beyond the so-called “limits of male and female” in which an activist dismisses the human body as a “living meat skeleton.”
Much is at stake in the confusion today, both in the secular world and in our churches, about the meaning of the body. We live in a world that insists our bodies are meaningless. But that is to insist that human life itself is meaningless.