Daily Reflection – 9/27/19
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Messiah of God.” But he gave them strict orders and charged them not to say this to anyone. He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”( Luke 9:18-22)
Jesus told his disciples not to use the term Christ for the time being, allowing him a chance to instruct the crowds, to elevate their hopes and adjust their expectations, to explain how it was that an apparently weak, submissive, suffering Jesus could be the Lord of life and history.
We also need time to learn this lesson. We need time spent in prayer, contemplating Christ’s teachings and example in the Gospel. We need time spent in study, looking into the history of the Church and the lives of all those who died for their belief in Him. We need to desire Mt. Calvary as much as Mt. Tabor. Only then will this hardest of all lessons – that earth isn’t heaven and never will be, that the path to abundant meaning and happiness passes through a daily cross, that unless we are willing to sacrifice our personal preferences and worldly desires we will never reach the goal for which we were created – only then will this lesson be able to seep down into our hearts and spread into every corner of our minds.
Jesus warns us that if we are ashamed of him and our identification with him, if we prefer acceptance by the world and worldly success to being a faithful Christian, then we may, tragically, end up with what we have preferred.
And if you were to ask me this question, “Who do you say I am?” how would I answer? I would say the right words: you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord of life and history. But in my heart, Lord, I have still not surrendered completely to your love. You know I am afraid of the cross. I know that I don’t have to be. So why don’t you take this fear away? I have a crucifix. I see it all the time. Open my eyes, Lord, so that I not only see the cross, but also the crucifix.
What are you asking of me, Lord? Okay, I give it to you. I will follow where you lead. If you went to Calvary for me, I will go there for you. Help me to see everything with faith. If I know it’s your will, I can embrace it, but my faith is sometimes so weak that I forget to look for your hand in the circumstances and responsibilities of my life.
To know Jesus Christ is to know the power of his death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith to know Jesus personally, power to live the gospel faithfully, and courage to witness to others the joy and truth of the gospel. Who do you say that Jesus is?
Prayer of The Day
Lord, I believe and I profess that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Take my will, my life, and all that I have, that I may be wholly yours now and forever.”
Today Jesus asks each of us the question: “Who do you say that I am?” I invite you to take a few minutes and seriously ask yourself: who is Jesus to me? Who is Jesus for me now? How does his presence impact my life? Does it? 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!