Weekend Reflections for 8/25/17
“Who do people say that I am?”
Jesus asked this question at a critical point in his public life and preaching. A political commentator today might say that Jesus had reached his peak of popularity and it was now on the decline. The early enthusiasm of those who followed him was wanning. There was growing opposition from some religious leaders; some followers were beginning to question aspects of his teaching, and some had given up on him and walked away.
Moreover, Jesus is about to tell them that “he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priest and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day.”
So he wants to know where his inner circle of disciples are with regard to him. Are they ready to enter into a more profound and deeper relationship with him? Are they committed enough and faithful enough to stay with him not only in good times but also in difficult times and in the bad times of hostility and persecution which were even now coming.
They would not be able to do this unless they have a better and more correct understanding of who he is, and if they were not graced with a deeper faith and trust in him and in his word. So Jesus asks his question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Jesus wants them to deal with this issue, to confirm interiorly and out loud for themselves others who he is for them.
I believe each of us in our own way has to grapple with this question. In fact, for believers I think it is perhaps the most important issue of our faith. How we perceive and deal with this reality, how we understand and perceive this profound yet wonderful mystery sets the stage, lays the groundwork and foundation for all, or practically all, other considerations of our faith life. May we be blessed with the grace and insight that Peter received.