Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew includes perhaps the most important question of all time: Jesus asks Peter, and in turn you and me, “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus wasn’t interested in hearing what everybody else was saying about him. He wanted to hear from Peter’s own mouth, “Who do YOU say that I am?”
Our understanding of Jesus can be molded by many influences: going to Mass, Bible studies, our own reading and study. The picture in our mind can be shaped by popular movies and books. Even what we believe Jesus asks of us can be informed by various preachers and teachers we trust.
But at the end of the day, Jesus asks us, “Who do YOU say that I am?” If we attend Church on Sundays and claim to be Catholic or Chrsitian because that’s what our parents did or that’s what we have always done, then I wonder what the true answer to the question can be. At some point in time, you have to intentionally decide for yourself. You can’t lean on parents, Church, or circumstances forever. Those are important parts of our life and certainly we come to know who Jesus is through these, especially the tradition and doctrine of the Church. But is your answer to the question one that you been trained to give or is it one that you know deep in your heart to be true? Do you follow a Christ that has been presented to you over time, or do you follow the Christ with whom you have an authentic relationship?
Before you set out on this journey of a stewardship way of life, you better have a good answer to the question Jesus asks, “Who do YOU say that I am?” This journey is not always easy, but if you truly know who it is that you are following, you will find the endurance and fortitude to carry on. If the person you follow is only construct of all the things you have heard about Him, then you are more likely to fall to the side of the road.
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