September 12, 24rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Parish Family,
The challenge of being a disciple of Jesus is will I be totally committed, or will I be superficially involved?
Who do people say that I am? Jesus asked his disciples. Jesus has been healing, casting out demons, teaching and preaching, and people have been talking in other words. Jesus is saying, what’s the word on the streets about me? One can sense Jesus looking them in the eye and saying, I don’t care what others think about me? The disciples give Jesus answers to what they have heard from others—John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets. Having listened to what others are saying about him, he turns to his disciples and asks, But who do you say I am? One can sense Jesus looking them in the eye and saying, I don’t care what others think about me; you are my closest friends, you have been with me all this time: who am I to you? It is Peter who answers the ques- tion on behalf of the disciples. You are the Christ. Jesus does not say whether Peter is correct but instead tells them not to repeat this to any- one. “Who do you say that I am?” is a central question of our faith, and one which we need to reflect upon and ponder throughout our lives. If Jesus is the Christ for us, what does this mean in how we live our lives? Jesus teaches the disciples that the Son of Man must suffer greatly, experi- ence rejection and death. Peter expects the Messiah to be one who will be honored and served, so he pulled Jesus aside to rebuke him. Peter, like u, wants to save those whom we love from suffering. However, Jesus knows himself and knows his mission. He rebukes Peter telling him to get behind him. Just as Jesus rejected the devil’s temptation in the desert, Jesus re- bukes Peter’s challenge to his identity. Jesus is reminding Peter that disci- ples must be followers of Jesus along the way. Peter is thinking as man and not God. To view Jesus through divine lens and not human lens becomes crucial for all of us disciples. If we truly believe that Jesus is the Christ, then we must be prepared to go to the Cross, and what does that look like? It is speaking out for the unborn, the voiceless and the marginalize when everyone else is fearful of doing so.
It is speaking the truth in love at the expense of losing friends. It is standing up for Gospel values while being ridiculed. It is what the prophet Isaiah shows in our First Reading. It is ulti- mately the recognition that being a disciple of Christ involves dying to self but finding new life in Christ. On this journey of faith, may we, like Peter, respond that Jesus is the Christ and live our lives totally committed to fol- lowing Christ as his disciple. (hprweb.com)
God bless you all,
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG