After that, Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They said, “For some of them, you are John the Baptist; for others Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
Jesus asked them, “But you, who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “It is well for you, Simon Barjona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.
And now I say to you: You are Peter; and on this Rock I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven.”
Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
From that day, Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem; that he would suffer many things from the Jewish authorities, the chief priests and the teachers of the law; and that he would be killed and be raised on the third day.
Then Peter took him aside and began to reproach him, “Never, Lord! No, this must never happen to you!” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path. You are thinking not as God does, but as people do.”
When God proclaimed the Ten Commandments to Moses, with his own finger (Ex 31:18) he inscribed these commandments on two stone tablets which he entrusted to Moses (Ex 24:12; 32:15-6; Dt 5:22). And, in the subsequent history of Israel, we observe that Israel repeatedly broke her covenant with God. In other words, there was God’s will expressed on the stone tablets, and there was Israel’s own will expressed in her refusal to obey the Commandments. This was possible because the Commandments were distinct from Israel, extraneous to her. But in today’s first reading we learn that God has a plan to change all this dualism. Through the mouth of Jeremiah he says: “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts.” Which means that the law will be henceforth no longer external to Israel. Instead it will become merged with Israel’ heart. And because of this, it will become impossible for Israel to break the law, since the law and Israel will have become one.
Here we have a New Covenant, new because it is no longer written on stone tablets but on human hearts, and therefore has become unbreakable. Is God’s law part of our deep self, so much so that obeying it seems as natural as our heart beat?
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