21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A – 22nd / 23rd August, 2020

At this point in the gospel, Jesus and his chosen ones have travelled and lived together for some time. He invites them to explore what they understand of his identity. Even in his question, there is an explicit hint of his identity: ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ The people offer a variety of opinions: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. But it is Peter who adds to the title ‘Son of Man’ by recognising Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God. This same Peter, whose faith faltered when he was buffeted by the wind and waves (see the gospel for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time), has now shown that he is open to God and recognises Jesus for who he is. But this is not the end of Peter’s story. There are ups and downs in his response, as there are in our own. As long as we remain open to the gift of faith, we are offered forgiveness when we fail to treasure what God has given to us.