DO WE BELIEVE IN JESUS?
The first Christian generations preserved the memory of this Gospel episode as a story of vital importance for Jesus’ followers. Their intuition was right on the mark. They knew that Jesus’ Church ought to listen repeatedly to the question that Jesus made one day to his disciples near Caesarea Philippi: But who do you say that I am?
If we let our faith in Jesus die out in our Christian communities, we will lose our identity. We will not know exactly how to live out with creative audacity the mission that Jesus entrusted to us; we will not dare confront the present moment, with openness to the newness of his Spirit; we will suffocate in our mediocrity.
These are not easy times. If we do not turn to Jesus more truthfully and faithfully, disorientation will keep paralyzing us; our grandiose words will continue to lose credibility. Jesus is the key, the foundation and the source of all that we are, say and do. Who is Jesus for us Christians today?
We confess, as Peter does, that Jesus is the “Christ of God,” the one sent by the Father. It is certain, God has loved the world so much he has given us Jesus as a gift. Do we Christian know how to welcome, take care of, enjoy and celebrate this great gift of God? Is Jesus the center of our celebrations, meetings and gatherings?
We confess him also as “Son of God.” He can teach us to know God better, to trust more in his goodness, to listen with greater faith to his invitation to build a more fraternal and just world for all. Are we discovering in our communities the true face of God who became flesh in Jesus? Do we know how to announce him and communicate him as the great news for everyone?
We call Jesus “Savior” because he has power to humanize our lives, to free us as persons and lead human history toward its true and definitive salvation. Is this the hope we breathe in and out among us? Is this the peace our communities spread?
We confess Jesus as our only “Lord.” We do not want to have other lords or to submit to false idols. But does Jesus really occupy the center of our lives? Do we give him absolute primacy in our communities? Do we put him above all things and above everyone else? Do we belong to Jesus? Is he the one who breathes life into us and makes us alive?
The great task of Christians today is to join forces and open paths towards reaffirming much more the centrality of Jesus in his Church. Everything else comes afterwards.
June 19, 2016
12th O.T. (C)
Luke 9, 18-24