WHO DO YOU SAY THAT JESUS IS?
21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A
Our dealings with people are at times dependent on the way we “see” the person as to who he/she is.For instance, when we see a person as a friend, we treat him/her in a friendly fashion.We remember him/her in special times especially when we need a shoulder to lean on.However, if the person is seen as an enemy, then of course, we treat the person in an unkindly fashion.
In our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus posed a similar question to His disciples. Who so say that I AM? Or in other words, how do you “see” me as your teacher? As it turned out, it was Peter who gave a very satisfactory answer: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!”
A Bishop once narrated a very funny experience about a little boy whom he asked about who the Sto. Niño is and innocently, the boy remarked with confidence: “Oh, the Sto. Niño is no less than the little baby brother of Jesus!” Could you agree more? But for you, who do you say Jesus is?We could underline a number of answers to this, but allow me to single out the following as we deal with these trying times:
1. First, JESUS IS OUR PERSONAL SAVIOR. As our personal Savior, Jesus is the GOOD SHEPHERD – a shepherd who is ever willing to leave the rest of the flock of sheep in order to look for a sheep that is missing. Also, He is our BELOVED FRIEND, who is closer to us than our dear ones and someone who walks with us and loves us unconditionally.Hence, the words that He once said in Scriptures clearly manifest this image: “There is no greater love than this, than to lay down one’s life for ones FRIENDS.” (John 15:13)Jesus did that as He sees all of us as His friends.As we see Him as such, we reflect certain qualities after His example: that of joy, peace and an unconditional love!
Do we “see” Jesus as such?Whom do we turn to when we are lost, when we are in despair, when we are afraid?You could say “Jesus!”But how about in times when we are in the state of happiness, good times at work and family?Could we still say, “Jesus?”At times, we do remember Him in troubling times, but in the happiest moments of our lives we tend to forget Him.The Canaanite woman’s faith in last Sunday’s Gospel was noteworthy as she grew in her faith. She recognized Jesus as her personal Savior when she prayed, “Lord, save ME!” Do we have such faith?Is Jesus still our personal Savior?[recession]
2. Second, JESUS IS OUR LORD.The Lordship of Jesus is clearly associated with His divinity.At times we can relate to Jesus as He is human – one with us in flesh and blood.But as we relate to His humanity, we see a nature in Jesus that makes Him unique from all mankind, His divinity – a nature speaks of His special authority bestowed upon Him by His Father which He clearly performed in humility and servanthood.
Today’s world needs a figure of authority.Someone who has the capacity to restore peace and the capacity to foster love in its fullest sense – a love that is unselfish; a love that is whole.We may not be able to find such figure in today’s world, but just as Peter recognized His true Messiah in Jesus, we too should profess the same acknowledgment in Jesus.With confidence to the true Lord of all, we MUST acknowledge Jesus as our LORD!
3. Third, JESUS IS OUR LIGHT.One of the best titles of Jesus that I find very appealing is “Light of the World.”Light in scriptures is associated with GLORY as well as with TRUTH. Our world today craves for intellectual enlightenment which will dispel the darkness of mental and moral ignorance.We hardly know the Truth. With all the “truths” we find everywhere, we cannot clearly discern which ones are in accord to the teachings of our Catholic Church.Subjectivism, utilitarianism, relativism and some other “isms” which do not define the Truth in its absolute sense. We seemed to be misguided by a different LIGHT so much closer to the darkness of ignorance.
A Filipino kid was once asked by his grandmother what TRUTH is, and innocently he said, “We’ll Lola or grandma, truth is when I tell my mother that’s she’s beautiful because that is how God created her to be.” Like what this kid said, truth has its reference on God.We cannot find truth other than the truth that Christ presents to us, which we can only find through knowledge of scriptures and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
This Sunday we are asked to reevaluate the way we “see” Christ.Who do you say that Christ is?Above anything else, He is our PERSONAL SAVIOR, who can save us from useless anxieties out of our own human making; He is our LORD, a true figure of authority built up in humility and servanthood; and our LIGHT, the answer to worldly questions as well as the mysteries of our faith.Let us turn to Him as we acknowledge Him with such titles and together with Peter, let us confidently say, “Yes, Lord, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living GOD!”
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Mother Teresa exemplified the life of a True Disciple of Christ by surrendering her everything at all cost that He may continue to increase while she decreases in humility.
Zacchaeus, with yearning to see Jesus, climbed up the sycamore tree to have at least a glimpse of Him. Such encounter changed him as an established person and much more, as a child of God.
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