Daily Reflection – 2/22/19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”( Matthew 16:13-19)
In today’s gospel reading we hear Jesus asking his disciples this type of questions. First, He wants to know what everyone else is saying about him. Then, he asks the big question, “But who do you say that I am?” Answers start flying of the lips of the disciples like it is a popular game show or a quiz in a sports bar. All stay on the surface with their responses, except for Simon Peter. He is the one who looks into the depth of his being, gets himself out of the way, and allows God to answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Eventually, all of us must answer this question for ourselves. Who is Jesus for us? We can stay surface level or we can venture deeper, like Peter did when He allowed the answer to come from within. Peter had a lot of courage answering the way he did. Peter’s answer was personal and that is exactly how we need to answer this question. Only the Holy Spirit, who fills us with Grace and Divine knowledge, can reveal to the depths of our beings who Jesus is for each of us.
But it starts not with the Jesus we visit in Church. Nor in the Jesus we pray to when we are in need or in grief or in pain. Nor in this façade that some put up by claiming that living a good life is enough. No, No and No. It starts with our accepting our belief in Him as our Lord and Savior at such a deep level inside of us that our words, thoughts and actions are preceded by whether they would please Him. It has to be seared inside our very soul. It must become a conditioning for us. To call ourselves Christian – a follower of Christ – means an internalization that we are His followers – that we belong to Him – that all that we are is because of Him – and that all that we want to be is a reflection of Him.
May we come to know Jesus, in whatever special way He has planned for us, and passionately accept each day the answer to that question, “But, who do you say I am?”
Prayer of The Day
Lord, help me to not only acknowledge you with my words, but to embrace the belief that you are the Son of the Living God with all my life, words, and actions. Let my life give witness to you before all men.
We often discover what lives at the center of our world when the experiences and circumstances of life knock us off kilter. Everything is thrown out of whack and we struggle to regain our center. Sometimes that means we have settled for something other than Christ on which to center our lives. Christ is the true center. That does not mean there will not be difficulties, pain, or losses. It means that when they occur the center holds, and we all need a center that will hold.