Reflections - June 19, 2016

“Who do the crowds say that I am?’….But who do you say that I am?....Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God”.  Lk. 9:18-20.
 
The Gospel presents us with two questions that Jesus will ask us throughout our existence.  “What do they say about me? And what do you say about me?”  Perhaps you learned the answer to the question “what do they say about me” in Catechism when you were little.  But as time passes and the faith matures the question becomes more personal.  What do you say about me?  This is what happened to Peter and the Apostles.  The first answer to the question, who do you say that I am, is accompanied by expectations of greatness, power, control, and having the top position that they had learned in their historic social environment, but it was a response that did not coincide with a personal compromise “with God’s plan”.  This could happen to us when we are asked the question, who is the Lord in our lives. Your faith responses today are like responses learned in Catechism, which as Monsignor Roman use to say:  “Like your First Communion dress that does not fit your present-day body thus are my answers of faith”, which sometimes become stagnate and does not mature and does not compromise me with the adorable figure of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Pope Francis says:  “Christians who know the doctrine without faith know what they need to know, but do not have faith.  Others may recite the Creed without faith or be scholars who classify theology in a series of possibilities and then this wisdom does not have tangible effects on the daily life of human beings”.
 
This second question:  Who do you say that I am?…..is accompanied by the faith to follow Christ carrying the Cross.  “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”.
 
For Peter, Jesus’s question:  “But who do you say that I am?”…was a process of maturation of his faith tested by pain, denial, the cross and the resurrection.  After Jesus resurrected He asked Peter a question, “do you love me?”.  Peter does not answer so quickly.  Now he responds:  You know it all, but you know that I love you…..”You know of my greatness and miseries….”, but in the end, with your grace I learned to love and serve you with faith all the way to the cross and to the resurrection.
 
Today as you receive communion as yourself:  What is the cross that the Lord wants you to carry in your family and in your community?  Ask for faith and generosity to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to carry it.  Amen.