My Dear friends! Donald Duck is going back to my bag but I would like to take you on an excursion to a pretty place now. It is called Caesarea Philippi. That’s where today’s Gospel took place. What can we say about the place? Well, let me use this comparison: Caesarea Philippi was like Gold Cost, a perfect holiday destination. Most of Israel is a dry and hilly desert but when you get to Caesarea Philippi you feel like in a paradise: it’s green, fresh, lots of pretty creeks etc. However to get a better picture of the place let me ask you this question: “If you wanted your son or daughter to become more holy, would you send them to Gold Cost on their own?” It is a pretty place but not a very holy place though. Caesarea Philippi was also pagan. In that small area there were 15 pagan temples dedicated to various gods. What do you know, my Friends, about those ancient religions of Greeks and Romans? If you do some research you discover that heaven was like Gold Cost with one but significant improvement: drinks and food wouldn’t run out. What about their gods? They were basically like super humans with some super powers and of course immortal. They were drinking, eating, and having fun but because it is hard to keep having a good time without getting bored of having a good time, so gods from time to time would fight with each other. That divine world was like another version of earth because those religions were made up by people who sensed that there is something more than life on earth and they tried to imagine it. Basically what they did was what Walt Disney did with Donald Duck: they made it more human so that it could be easier for people to understand.
In the Gospel for this Mass we have an explanation about God too. Peter said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus reaction to that is something we should always remember: “Peter, what you said is not made up by a human mind but it comes from my Father in heaven.” That what we can say about our Christian religion: it is not the invention of humans but it is a revelation from God, who has revealed to us the mysteries of heaven. That’s why at times we find it difficult to comprehend it because it comes from another world which is still a mystery to us. But even if you find some things difficult in our faith, persevere and keep on praying, and one day it will be given to you. It is not simply about getting the right answer but it is about giving your life to the right person – Jesus Christ. Can you recognize the person of the screen? You are right it is President Barack Obama. But because you have got the right answer, does it mean that you want to give Obama your life? Don’t think so. Now, look at another slide. Who is the person? You are saying that it is Jesus. That’s the right answer but I am praying now very hard so that you could also say: IT IS THE ONE WHO I WANT TO GIVE MY LIFE TO.