Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
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.
When in a crowd, we are less likely to feel accountable. Surrounded by people, it feels easy to hide. This is true of any group, and the Church is no exception.
If we listen, Jesus’ questions today cut through this paralysis.
“Who you people say that I am?…”
“Who do you say that I am?…”
Imagine the Lord asking you these questions. Does your heartbeat not quicken at the second one?
This tension we now feel can help us focus on the remarkableness of Peter’s answer, that God became human for us. Let’s pray today for the remarkableness of this answer to sharpen our curiosity to know Christ more fully. Curiosity in this arena leads to an inexhaustible adventure.
Have you been putting off a habit of daily prayer? Perhaps the 19th Annotation retreat of the Spiritual Exercises? Wait no longer!
—Paul Mitchell is a Jesuit educator who has stepped out of the classroom into full-time care of his two young sons. He is the author of Audacious Ignatius.
Lord God, you see me as an individual, you love me in the midst of a crowd. Help me to grow in my desire to be close to you, so that I can answer for myself who I say that you are. May I grow ever deeper in my relationship with you. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer teamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!