A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 9:18-24
"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 othrs, '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." Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." The Gospel of the Lord
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in them, the fire of your Love, send forth your Spirit and Thou shall renew the face of the earth.
"Who do you say that I am?" Our Lord asks the disciples this question; "Who do you say that I am?" When we look at this passage, we find our Lord in solitude and with his disciples; interesting isn't it? It could appear a contradiction- but is it? Perhaps we are given a glimpse of 'Beauty'- the contemplative aspect of genuine Christian community life. Whether that "community" takes the shape of the domestic church, or a religious comminity, presbyterate or apostolic community, all share the same 'unifying' rock. As a community founded on Christ and sustained by Christ we need solitude (aloneness with God). This aspect is essential or the members of a community can turn in on themselves- loose their "orientation", loose their focus and loose their lead (Jesus) to follow. It is He who gives community its very life, orders it, sustains it, and renews it in His Love. Let us listen to Jesus, in this passage of the Gospel, He begins by asking the disciples the first question; "Who do the crowds say that I am?" Now why did Jesus ask them this? Does our Lord care about opinions? Do others' opinions define Him or shape the direction of His life? What is the lesson in it- for us as disciples of our Lord? Note the word 'crowds' -- it is not a few but the populus we are looking at here. Does the 'crowd' have it right, with respect to His identity? In our culture, popular trend dictate and media and the masses often seek to 'define Christ"; error exists now, just as it did then. Why did Jesus ask these two questions and then share with the disciples what it takes to follow Hiim? What is the correlation? When we look at the 2nd reading for Mass today, from Galatians the 'thread' running through the reading is 'unity' singularity of focus. Perhaps then, this question is more critical and pivotal to answer on a personal level, then what we may at first think. Our Identity flows from the knowledge of who Christ is in Truth, and therefore who I am before Him. "Who do you say that I am ?" For me, I can't imagine any question more pivotal than this question, all other questions and answers flow from it and it defines and orients my entire life. It is the source of my true Identity and therefore my 'rock' on which I stand. Hear your name, hear our Lord say..."But________ who do you say that I am?" What is your answer?
+Prayer: Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, Word made Flesh, dwelling amoung us, I love you, increase my faith. Amen