Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014
in Ordinary Time
Psalm 138:1-3, 6, 8
We are asked many questions in life. When we are young we hear things like: How old are you? What do you want to be when you grow up?
As we mature, the questions change: Do you have a date for prom? Where do you want to go to college?
Some questions we welcome, such as how was your vacation or how's the new job or is it a boy or a girl? We are less enthusiastic about answering others. For instance, when are you going to settle down and get married, or how about them Cowboys?
A lot of questions are just about ordinary things, but sometimes, they go a bit deeper. We may be asked why do bad things happen to good people or what is the meaning of life?
In the history of the world, the question that probably matters the most is asked in this week's Gospel. Jesus had been with his disciples for a while at this point. I imagine they were not sure what to make of this man. They had seen him do miracles and heard him preach, but they also knew he was the son of a carpenter. I can just see them, when he wasn't around, talking to each other about what they had seen and heard.
Jesus poses a question that will lead to the deeper life-changing question. He starts with, "Who do people say that I am?" This is a pretty safe question. The disciples are just asked to report what they have heard, but then comes the clincher: "Who do you say that I am?"
Who Jesus is to you really matters. How you answer that question is a matter of (eternal) life or death. Through the centuries, this question has echoed in every Christian's heart. Jesus lovingly looks at each one of us and asks: "Who do you say that I am?"
Our hope is to have enough faith to answer as Peter did: "The Christ, the Son of the living God."
For with Jesus as our Messiah, savior, friend, and God, all the other questions either fall away or find their ultimate meaning. For when we look into the heart of who Jesus is, we find the ultimate answer to all our questioning.
This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.