Jesus said to his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” (Mt. 16:15)
Below is an excerpt from Ted Wolgamot in Celebration.
That same question, of course, is not addressed only to his first followers thousands of years ago. It echoes down through the centuries until it lands on each of our ears today.
“Who do you say I am?”
In fact, that same question really is no longer about Jesus. It’s about us. Who am I? What do I believe? What do I stand for? Where is the North on my compass?
Because, let’s face it, you and I are like those earliest disciples. We have all kinds of answers to the question of who Jesus is. We each can find a way to clothe Jesus in our own self, to project on to him our own interests. To put it another way, we can easily find ways of reshaping him to best suit our purposes.
Simon, son of Jonah, who will deny him three times, who doesn’t understand so many things – this same Simon is given a new name: Peter, the Rock.”
And that’s what can happen for each of us. Jesus can make new openings in our lives, break the molds we’ve shaped for ourselves, draw us toward new realizations, fashion new understandings. He can re-name us.
If we allow it.
If we allow it, Jesus can create within each of us a passion for justice that will shake up our certainties, our privileges and our self-interests. If we allow it, Jesus can construct within each of us a tenderness that puts our pettiness to shame, and an experience of freedom that will release us from all our enslavements.
But only if we allow it.
“Who do you say I am?”
Too often we answer easily that he is our God, even when he is not at the center of our lives. Too often we answer easily that we confess him to be our Lord, even when we live with our backs turned to his project of forgiveness and mercy. Too often we answer easily that he is our Teacher, when we barely listen to his lessons.
In the end, though, we will have to honestly answer this single Gospel question: “Who do you say I am?”
How are you going to answer it?
There are many things that go on at Holy Spirit Parish. Often people don’t have an idea of how many there really are. On Saturday, September 6, we will have a parish picnic and a Parish Life Show Case. We will start after the 5:00 p.m. mass (6 p.m.) and go till 8:00 p.m. In this bulletin you will find information about what you will need to bring to the picnic. At the same time the different ministries of our parish will have exhibits in the gym giving you a good idea of what happens in our parish and how you could be involved. I hope you will come and join us for this event.