Reflections - September 16, 2018

“Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah”.

I was reading some writings of the famous English writer Chesterton and he was asked in one of the writings: If Jesus lived in our world today what do you believe He would be doing? After thinking about it Chesterton replied: “He is living in our world today. He is with us and loves us”.

I think the value of this question and Chesterton’s response is very related to Jesus’ question: Who do people say that I am? Perhaps for some He is a dead teacher whose words are chosen and used in different social, political, or even religious occasions, but as the Apostle James said: “if faith does not have works, is dead”. James 2:17.

So now if I reply like Peter: “You are the Messiah” it is because I believe in a living Christ and in His promise. Peter’s response had to be purified with “things” that were important to him. As he continued to follow Jesus he understood Christ’s words: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross (a cross that does not need to be invented for it comes on its own) and follow me…..For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it”. Mk. 8: 34-35.

There is a grace that you must ask the Lord for when you want to follow Him and that is humility. The Prophet Isaiah says: “The Lord God opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting….”. Is. 50:7. If you want a clear example a few months ago the Bishops, priests, and faithful people of Nicaragua came out to protest. Some were killed; others were beaten, insulted, and vilified for asking for justice, liberty, and compassion. They carried their cross with humility knowing that: “The Lord will do justice for them”. Is. 50:7.

Let us get closer to His divine presence with faith in the Eucharist to cultivate a personal relationship with Him purifying many disordered affections and expressing with humility: “Lord, to whom do I turn to….You are the Messiah, my Savior and my Help; in You I trust. Amen”.