Jesus said to his Apostles, “But who do you say that I am” (Mt 16:15)
Have we answered the same question that Jesus posed to his apostles for ourselves? Too often we move from this to that, one situation to another, putting out fires and moving from one crisis to another, or we are just seeking to make it through another day.
To be a Christian is not a call to stop living our lives, but it is an invitation to live our lives in, with, and for Jesus. We have been described as a People of the Book, along with Jews and Muslims. This is true, yet, even more so, we are a people of encounter; we encounter the Living Word, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.
Peter and Paul encountered Jesus in their lives and were changed forever. We can encounter the same Jesus when we slow down enough to pray with the Word proclaimed in the Liturgy or read in personal prayer.
As a very simple example: except for the first Office of the day, in praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer begins, “God come to my assistance, Lord make haste to help me.” I still need to embrace the depth of those words instead of too many times rotely passing through them as I begin my prayers, not really taking in what I am saying!!! How many times do we make the Sign of the Cross without being attentive to the profound act we have just engaged ourselves in?
Through invoking this prayer and making this sacramental gesture, we are inviting the Creator of all that exists to come to be a part of our lives. Each one is also a prayer we may lean on when tempted, stressed, worried or anxious. Each one is an affirmation of a commitment to resist giving in to a mindset of minimalism and fear. All things are possible when we mindfully choose to align ourselves with Jesus and participate in the communion of the Holy Trinity.
Peter and Paul both answered the question that Jesus posed. Peter as recorded in Mt 16:16, said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” and Paul in Acts 9:20 “proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Let us spend some time praying and meditating on how we will answer Jesus’ question: “Who do you say that I am?” How we answer this question makes a difference as to the kind of Christian we are and will be.
Saints Peter and Paul on this your feast day, pray for us!
Painting of Saints Peter and Paul by El Greco, 16th Century