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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Jesus asks his followers: “Who do you say I am?” How do I respond? Perhaps with the Baltimore Catechism answer: “Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man.” Aha, correct answer but an answer from the head, not the heart. Jesus, I am sure, invites a response from my heart.
To answer from the heart requires that I must develop a personal relationship with Jesus—I must get to know the man whose word was God’s Word, whose spirit was God’s Spirit, whose feelings were God’s feelings. I must get to know the one who is the source of meaning and strength in my life, and a model for how I should live.
I am somewhat taken aback when I next read that Jesus directed his disciples not to tell this Good News to anyone. I have come to realize, however, that this direction calls on each of us to discover who Jesus is, not from theological study or rote memorization, but from getting to know Jesus, up close and personal, through prayer and reflection, and walking through our life journey with him as our companion.
Who do YOU say I am?
―George Penman Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found Chicago’s Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and three grandchildren.
Lord, three questions we must ponder. Who do we say you are and who do you say we are? And what difference do those answers make in how we live our days? While some things may not make sense, everything makes sense at its deepest level because you are our God and we are your beloved. With profound gratitude we surrender the joys and sorrows of this day to you. And we pray to be ever mindful that you are always near.―The Jesuit Prayer Team Please share the Good Word with your friends!