Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Who do you say that I am? It is a question that echoes through the centuries. If I ask family and friends, their answer tells me something about me and them and us. If I ask Jesus, his answer tells me about me and him and us. When relationships are mutual, the question echoes back –“who do you say that I am?” – and I must answer. This question and its answer between people who love one another do not result in analytical data points. Rather our answers reveal who you are to me, and me to you, and us to us.
Jesus asks his friends – who do you say that I am? Peter answers: “You are the answer to our questions, the location of our hopes, the reason for our joys. You are the One we have longed for to help us and heal us. You, Jesus, are everything.” And I might imagine the smile on Jesus’ face, as he turns, looks at me and asks “and who do you say that I am?”
Jesus, our brother,
You sometimes ask hard questions
and answers are not always easy.
But why would you ask questions at all?
You do not demand answers,
yet you invite and guide and love us
in ways that inflame a desire to respond.
Give us the grace to be courageous.
May we learn to listen, today,
to you and to ourselves and to others.
May our listening lead to loving, today.
And may our loving be the answer needed, today.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!