Reading: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” Luke 9: 20.
Good morning, happy Friday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 9:18-22) reading, Jesus was praying in solitude and his disciples were there with him. After a time, Jesus turned to his disciples and asked: “Who do the people say that I am?” Clearly Jesus wanted some feedback from the disciples. They said in reply: “Some say you are John the Baptist. Others believe you are Elijah or one of the ancient prophets who has arisen.” Jesus then asked: “But who do you say that I am?”
We know from this gospel that the disciples – in particular Peter – were dumbfounded when they heard Jesus’ words and wanted to reject them entirely. It was totally against all their expectations of the Messiah, apart from the fact that they could not bear to have those things happen to their Master.
We too are invited to deepen our understanding of the true identity of Jesus, and try to understand the redemptive value of the suffering and dying of Jesus. We are also invited to consider the redemptive and healing power in our own lives' pains, sufferings, disappointments, and failures.
Did you ever wonder about what Jesus talked about when he was with his Father in prayer? Here we might assume that he was talking about his mission and so when he was finished he asked the apostles what people thought about him. Peter gives him a strange answer. But the apostles themselves are clear that he was sent by God as the Messiah and Peter is able to say this in true belief.
Our life of faith is based on the fact that we ourselves have made this confession of faith in Jesus. The Lord appreciates very much our act of faith in him, especially when we thank him for the depth of the love he has shown through his Passion, Death and Resurrection. This is the space out of which we make our prayer to God – from a place of thanksgiving in our hearts.
Today it is Jesus himself who asks this central question, who do people say I am? Who do you say I am? I let myself hear this question, and listen to my answer, asking for the grace to know Jesus better so that I accept him lovingly as the Messiah of God for me.
Jesus doesn’t want us simply to believe in him. Jesus desires a personal relationship with each of us. He wants to be the center of our lives. Is this what we desire? Or is Jesus just a figure in the Gospels for us? Have we opened the door of our hearts to him? Only we can make this choice. What will we choose today? Jesus is waiting!