“Who do the crowds say that I am?
Readings: 1st: Ecc 3:1-11; Ps: 143; Gos: Lk 9:18-22
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Today is the Friday of the twenty-fifth week of ordinary time. Today’s gospel begins dramatically and excitingly. This episode is also found in Mt 16:13-20.
Jesus was aware of the confusion about his personality and mission. So, He decided to know what his disciples think about him: “Who do people say I am…You, who do you say I am?”
From the response of some of them, it is evident that they had no clear idea of who Christ was.
Peter came to their rescue. “You are the Christ, the son of the living God!” This is the answer to the “messianic secret” (Mk 1: 43-35).
How did Peter know this? Simple! God himself revealed it to him through the Holy Spirit, as Jesus affirmed.
The response of Peter provoked an essential declaration from Christ, similar to the one in our first reading. The key was given to Peter. This is a sign of his apostolic and ministerial authority over the entire church of Christ.
This became possible because he recognized Christ. So, Christ was not wrong by making him the head of his earthly church. This is the position he occupies till today through the apostolic succession of the Popes.
If Christ were to ask us the same question today, “who do you say I am”? What would be our response? We cannot comprehend who Christ is unless we have an intimate relationship with him.
Again, and most importantly, we cannot respond fully to this question unless we are docile to the Holy Spirit, who reveals the depth of God’s mind to us.
Finally, only believers who recognize who Christ is, have a special place in him. Therefore, our greatest desire every day should be: “To know Christ and the power of his resurrection. To share in his suffering, by becoming like him in his death” (Phil 3:10).
Peace be with you all.