Zechariah 12:10–11; 13:1
Zechariah prophesies a time of great mourning.
A psalm of longing to return to a close relationship with God.
For the baptized, union with Christ goes beyond all boundaries.
Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say I am?”
Background on the Gospel Reading
Jesus is praying; then he turns to the disciples to ask them who “the crowds” say he is. Mark places this incident at Caesarea Philippi. Luke, however, because of the importance he wishes to give to prayer in his Gospel, places it in the context of Jesus’ praying. The disciples answer that people say he is one of any number of the prophets who have died, from the recent John the Baptist to a prophet from long ago.
He then asks the disciples directly who they say he is. Peter answers for them that Jesus is the Messiah of God. Immediately Jesus tells them not to tell anyone, not because he doesn’t want people to know, but because they don’t understand what being the Messiah means. Jesus then answers his own question about his identity by explaining who he really is—one who must suffer, die, and be raised on the third day.
He then explains to all present what true discipleship really is. It means following in the same path as the Messiah, suffering and dying. True life is found by giving up life.