Readings: 1 Pt 5: 1-4 / Ps 23: 1-6 / Mt. 16: 13-19
After having walked with them a while, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” So many others seem to misunderstand him, limiting him to be a political hero or a miracle worker. He is now hoping that those closest to him will “get” the fullness of what he is about. He walked with them, shared with them, and they witnessed many of his deeds. He was hoping that they would carry on his work and labor for his dream of the reign of God. He now asks this very vulnerable question to his friends. It is Simon Peter who is moved by the Spirit to witness to this deeper Truth of Jesus’ identity as the “Anointed One, the Son of the Living God”, even though it seems that Simon does not understand the whole of what this means. It is the experience of suffering that will unfold the depths of Christ at the heart of life itself to Simon Peter (and to me as well). This Christian life is not an escapist view. Rather it is a journey through hardship into new life.
This question of who Jesus is gets at the heart of a spiritual life. I too hear Jesus ask me, “Who do you say that I am?” Has there been a moment or moments in my life when I have encountered Jesus and known intuitively the depths of who Jesus is? Have I felt God’s presence in a real and necessary way through the love of another or an experience of quiet or peace? Or perhaps life is moving too fast for me to notice. What may be the invitation for me right now? How can I be aware enough to be able to describe to another who Jesus is for me?