“Who do you say that I am?” Luke 9:18-24

IMG_1296

“Who do you say that I am?” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

From this weekend’s bulletin 

June 19, 2016

Dear Followers of Jesus,

Jesus in today’s gospel (Luke 9:18-24) asks his disciples a couple of questions about the perception of his identity. He asks them how other people identify him. Jesus then asks his disciples this straightforward question, “ But who do you say that I am?”

This question does not remain in the archives of Luke’s gospel. Jesus opens us up to answering the same question for our own lives if we have the courage to listen and to pray. If fact, we really cannot be Christians without having a personal relationship with Jesus. We must listen again to the question Jesus poses us.

We need to bring Jesus’ question to the reality of our lives. This past week, our country once again has faced the brutal murders of 50 people, this time in Orlando. We have faced our own tragedies this past year in Colorado Springs. These issues around the murders still plague our nation. We need to face up to how we relate to other faiths, in particular the Muslim community. We need to face up to how we treat people who live out of different sexual identities. We need to face up to the issues of gun violence in our society.

I believe that none of these issues should outweigh the core belief of our Church that each human being matters. Each person should be treated as a child of God. Sometimes we think that our prejudice and anger are certainly larger than God’s command to love. Guns, race and sexual identity should never be more important than people and how we treat them.

These issues force us to recognize who Jesus is for us. The question Jesus poses is not answered out of forced piety or out of a memorized notion of how the Church teaches us about God. This question opens us up to the reality that our true faith needs to be lived each day in real and practical terms.

The answer to Jesus’ question can be seen by how we live our lives. If we are constantly angry and full of rage, we have not yet come to terms with the peace Jesus is offering us. If we are constantly blaming other people for our own problems, then we most likely have not yet begun to take seriously the solace and mercy Jesus is offering our human hearts. If we cannot work through our grief and feel stuck in our lives, then we most likely have yet to take to heart the dying and rising of our Savior. The real answer to Jesus question is seen in our actions about people. These answers are visible by our neighbors and communities.

I invite you this summer to pray through the real issues of your lives. If you feel stuck in your family relationships, pray with the emptiness you feel and bring that emptiness to the full love of Jesus. If you are upset with a neighbor or an employer, sit and pray with the Jesus who calls you to forgive with all your heart. If you feel you have never gotten a break in life or need a second chance, place your heart in the life of Jesus who loves you and always gives you the mercy and forgiveness you need to start again.

Jesus challenges us in our daily lives to answer his question. However, we can only answer with a true and loving relationship with him. We must pray. We are invited into a deeper, loving and sustaining relationship with the dying and rising of Christ Jesus.

Here are some prompts to pray with Jesus’ questions:

 

I am often disillusioned with my relationship with Jesus because…

 

Sometimes I do not feel I am worthy of such a relationship because…

 

I am not sure I see the point of prayer because…

 

I wish I could understand the gospels so that I …

 

I need help with forgiveness in my life and I know I need to turn toward…

 

I am so angry about how we treat people who are different from ourselves and I …

 

Jesus, the giver of peace, calls me to…

 

Jesus, the forgiver of sins, challenges me to…

 

Jesus, the hope of the world, calls me to…

 

Jesus, the lover of souls, opens me up to living…

I pray that Jesus may bring peace within our hearts and in our world,

Fr. Ron

 

 

One thought on ““Who do you say that I am?” Luke 9:18-24

  1. This could not have come at a more opportune time. Thank you for your guidance in helping me redirect my life towards Jesus Christ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s