Friday 23 September 2022 – WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?

25th Week in Ordinary Time – Pio of Pietrelcina

1st Reading: Eccl 3:1-11

There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What advantage has the worker from his toil? I have considered the task that God has appointed for the sons of men to be busied about. He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without man’s ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

Gospel: Lk 9:18-22

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 Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell 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.”

WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? For reasons best known to him, Jesus throws two important questions to his disciples about who the crowds, his household and his disciples say he is. It’s no surprise that the crowds identify him with John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the ancient prophets. His way of life, great deeds and teachings identify him as a prophet. Even when we don’t tell people whom we are, our way of life speaks volumes about our identity. Speaking on behalf of the rest, Peter identified him as “the Christ of God.” But, Jesus did not want them to speak about this revelation and goes ahead to add a commentary to the meaning of his identity. Jesus invites to reflect on the meaning of the articles of faith and the place of the cross in our faith.

Prayer – Lord, we thank you for redeeming us by passion, death and resurrection. Help us to ponder on this mystery and make it part of our own lives.

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KNOWING WHO IS JESUS IN OUR LIFE: Jesus have been going to pray in solitude, and at this moment He questions his disciples on His identity. The first is related to the crowds, who is Jesus for the crowds, what do they say? The reply is clear for the crowd: John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets. Then He directs this question to them. At this Peter asserts  that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God. Many of the followers of Jesus did not know Him. What about us? We call ourselves Christians but do we understand the meaning of being Christian? Christianity is not about a name, but a way of life. The way we live with oneself and with others in the community, identifies us with Christ. Our actions should be our identity as Christians. Let us proclaim Jesus in our life, despite the sufferings that face.

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KNOWING JESUS CHRIST: Our Religion is not only reciting prayers, but it means knowing Jesus fully with all your heart. Unless one experiences Jesus Christ personally, it is difficult to commit to him. Jesus loves to see that we know who truly he is. St. Paul says, ‘I know whom I have believed’ (2 Tim 1:12). We might have known Him through books or classes of catechism, but He invites each one of us to know Him personally. We can know Him through deep communication with Him in prayer. We can know Him through listening to His Words and practicing them in our day today lives. Our experience of Jesus will lead us also to say like St. Paul: “it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”