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)
At an opportune time, Jesus tests his disciples with a crucial question: Who do men say that I am and who do you say that I am? He was widely recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God, even being compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah.
Peter, always quick to respond, exclaimed that he was the Christ, the Son of the living God. No mortal being could have revealed this to Peter; but only God.
Each of us, in the course, of our lives must answer the question from Jesus: “Who do you say that I am?”
Because the answer should lead us to experience the same inspiration. God desires that we allow him to reveal Christ to each of us personally: Faith is a personal act—the free response of the human person to the initiative of God. When we speak about faith this way, we are speaking about not only knowing the teachings knowing about Jesus, we are talking about being “called to a personal relationship with God.”
Whether it’s a one room chapel or the most inspiring Cathedral in the world, the fundamental truth of Christianity is acknowledging that we have that personal relationship. Without it, we have missed the meaning of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Ever wonder why there is so much discord in the world? The answer is simple. If more had a personal relationship, there wouldn’t be discord. How can discord exist in the heart of one who walks with Jesus every day.
Ever wonder why there is so much evil in the world? Because too many have allowed darkness to live in their lives and it now overshadows the good in the teachings of Christ?
Ever wonder why life seems so difficult at times? Because we have not yet learned that by turning over the difficulties of life to the one who is our personal savior, the difficulty may not go away but the ability to persevere through it is ours for the asking.
When we develop a personal relationship with God through prayer and daily dialogue, we learn that God is not a distant figure. God is not kept in a church. God does not belong to a single denomination. God does not belong only to those that have all the material blessings of life. God is not confined only to a word of scripture or sacrament.
God is yours. God is mine. God exists in each of us. But sometimes we are not listening to him speak to us. Sometimes we block his presence by focusing on our needs, our sorrows, our comparing ourselves to what we don’t have to others who seem to have more.
Is there anything in this world more important than Jesus Christ in our lives? Is there anything more important than Jesus Christ in the lives of those we love?
Look around you today? Look at those people in your lives that reflect Jesus Christ in the way they live. Watch their actions. Listen to their words. Let their love of Christ illume your life.
If you already know Jesus Christ as your personal savior then you already know why you are like Peter. You not only have come to know who Jesus Christ is but, just like Peter, you know that you are called. We are given our faith not just for our benefit but the benefit of others.
There is no such thing as private faith—faith just for me. To the extent that we believe, we believe not only for ourselves but to share what we believe with others. We, like Peter, are called to catch people in the beautiful net of Christ’s love.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, I profess and believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. You are my Lord and my Savior. Make my faith strong like Peter’s and give me boldness to speak of you to others that they may come to know you personally as Lord and Savior and grow in the knowledge of your great love.”
Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was. He was the first apostle to recognize Jesus as the Anointed One (Messiah and Christ) and the only begotten Son of God. The New Testament describes the church as a spiritual house or temple with each member joined together as living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks or spiritual stones.