The Gospel according to Matthew (16:13-19)
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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, I seek you in the solitude of my heart, and I hope to find you and accompany you in your suffering by assisting my fellow brothers and sisters. Grant me the grace to understand the mysteries you came to reveal. Open my heart to discovering you in unexpected ways.
Encountering Christ: So, the question remains, who is Jesus to YOU?
- He is the Son of the Living God, who was with God before time and creation, and who is God.
- He is the person of the Godhead who fulfilled the promise given in Isaiah 43:11 who said, “I, even I, am the Lord, there is no other Savior besides me.”
- He is one to whom God the Father was speaking in Psalm 110:1, “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
These answers are all correct theologically, but this still doesn’t answer my question. The question is “Who is He to … YOU?”
I recall my first year of Diaconate Formation (possibly the first month), and one of the most profound but yet the simplest questions that I was asked by my Spiritual Director was “Who is Jesus to you”? I immediately thought, “I got this! I know this answer”! So, I barked off the most ordinary, but yet true, theological answer; “He is My Lord and My God!” My Spiritual Director immediately said “NO, that’s not the answer I’m looking for”! Then he stared at me, obviously waiting for the right answer, and there were minutes of silence (it seemed like forever). After a long while, he cut off our meeting time very early by saying, “Think about your true answer and come back to me next week”. This simple question consumed me, but it also obsesses me to this very day. The GOOD NEWS is that my answer gets better, sweeter, stronger and richer every day in prayer, meditation, and my actions.
I would like you to watch this video which people are asked the same question. Their answers are eye opening.
It is known that Jesus in His divinity descended from heaven and came to earth and became man. He came down to show us what it is like to be a good person or I guess you can say He became our teacher. I recall throughout my life that I was Blessed with many, many teachers. One that pops up right now, is my Grandfather Reymundo, He used to take me everywhere and teach me things about life. So, can’t you just see the apostles standing at Jesus’ side, watching him, noticing how he does things: how he talks to people, how he waits, how he listens, how he’s patient, how he depends upon God, how he takes time for prayer, how he doesn’t respond cynically or bitterly, but trustfully and yet truthfully? Can you imagine a more powerful way to learn?
Closing Prayer: Lord, I am grateful that you have sanctified suffering, giving my little sacrifices and offerings eternal merit. Be with me so I could see the Blessing of our relationship and strengthen me with the comfort of your loving presence.
Action of the Day: You guessed it … Who is Jesus to you?