Who Do You Say I Am?


I often say things, the implications of which only become clear as time passes. I might promise to help someone move to a new home, only later to find out how much stuff they have, how much packing still needs to be done, how much more time-consuming my offer is than I originally thought. I might say that I will stick by a friend no matter what, only later to discover that to do so might entail jeopardizing my values. When Peter in today’s gospel said to Jesus that he is “The Christ of God,” did Peter really understand the implications of what he was saying?
The exchange between Jesus and his disciples took place within a very significant context: “Jesus was praying in solitude.” It was out of this prayer that he asked his disciples, “who do you say that I am?” and revealed that his very identity entailed suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection. Our own prayer is to lead us to clearer understanding of who we are, and to the revelation that our very identity as disciples entails denying self, taking up our daily cross, and losing our life for the sake of others. Dare we pray? Dare we ask Jesus, “who do you say that I am?” Dare we accept the identity. Jesus offers us and the implications of being faithful to that identity? [Living Liturgy, 2013]
In honest prayer we stand before God, stripped of false self-images and misleading life goals. In prayer we come to know who we are as Jesus’ disciples and accept the demands of following him faithfully. In prayer we encounter the God who never forsakes us, who
strengthens us to face our daily crosses, and who encourages us to be faithful. Dare we pray? How can we not? Dare we ask Jesus, “who do you say that I am?” Why would we not?

Adapted Renew International