“Who do you say that I am?”
In the gospel, we hear Jesus ask his disciples this question. Since we are Jesus’ disciples today, it is fair to assume that he asks the same question of us.
So, who do you say that Jesus is? Each of us enters into a relationship with Jesus at our Baptism. That relationship should grow and develop throughout our lives as we encounter Jesus in Scripture, Sacrament, prayer, other people, and life experiences. We have been told that Jesus is our brother, our friend, our savior. But to Jesus, the most important title is the one that you give him. How has Jesus impacted your life? How do you relate to Jesus?
St. Peter’s personal experience of Jesus, along with some inspiration from God the Father led Peter to reply to Jesus’ question with the words, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”
It is possible that if Jesus had never asked the question, Peter may never have realized the enormity of who Jesus was for him.
In my former life as a middle school religion teacher, I often gave 7th grade students a homework assignment to answer the question that Jesus puts forth in today’s gospel. I was so impressed by some of their answers that I wrote them down in a journal. I reread some of them in preparation for this reflection and I am still amazed at the depth of insight and faith that shine forth from a lowly homework assignment that no one really wanted to do.
Only you can say who Jesus is to you. But, like St. Peter and those 7th graders, you may never know for sure unless you put some thought into it. So, I challenge you to sit down with a pen and paper (or computer) and write an answer to Jesus’ question. You may be surprised at where your faith leads you!