Thursday of the Eighteenth Week In Ordinary Time
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
I wish I was like the Son of God: humble and thoughtful. I think we all wish we could be like that.
But I am not. And as hard as I try, I routinely fall flat on my face.
But maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s not all about trying but more like seeking or praying.
Who do you say that I am? Let me take a few steps backward. Let me ask myself a question before I pose this question to others. Let me ask myself: “Who do I want to be?”
That is the question! Do I want to be a man of my word and a man of the Word? Do I want to be a man with integrity? Or do I find pleasure in being detached from all my responsibilities?
Do I wish to live in fear all my life?
You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. How did Peter know? Well, the Lord tells us: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.”
The Father revealed Christ’s identity to Peter. But Peter was no fool. He could also see in Christ’s eyes and heart a holy man; a good man; a welcoming and compassionate man.
I should be more like that! I can be more like that! Who do I want to be?
Be humble and thoughtful. It’s not enough to be a good debater. It’s not even enough to be a logical man, for I can be entirely logical in all my deliberations and a mad man in all my thoughts. My logic can flow like honey and my thoughts like dung.
Christ had it all. He preached and lived a simple life. He walked the talk humbly and thoughtfully. Peter saw someone remarkable in the person of Jesus Christ. I wonder how often Peter got that “crazy” idea in his head that Jesus might be the Son of God. How often do you get a crazy idea in our head about someone? Maybe more often than you’d like. Do you verbalize it? Hardly ever!
But this time Peter verbalized it. This time he was ready to put his money where his life is. He was inspired to say it; to finally say that his heart had been telling him for so long: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
We need to say these words every day, otherwise we run the risk of being incoherent and inconsistent with our thoughts and actions. It doesn’t take much (or long) for something like that to happen. Not too soon after Peter made his confession of faith to Jesus, the Apostle was already telling Jesus (God) what to do!
Jesus fixed this problem immediately: “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Thinking is what we do best. Praying is what the Lord did best.