- Mk 8:27-33
- Peter’s Confession about Jesus
Who is Jesus for you? Graffiti found on a wall of St. John’s University this dialogue: “Jesus said unto them: ‘Who do you say that I am?’”
And they replied: ‘You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationships.’ And Jesus said: ‘What?’”
Jesus in today’s gospel asks His disciples to test them with a crucial question: “Who do people say that I am?” for the people, He was a man of God and even being compared with the greatest of the prophets: John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. But the Lord asks each of them with a personal question: “Who do you say that I am?” Peter professes that He is the Messiah, the Christ. He is the first apostle to recognize Jesus as the Anointed One (Messiah and Christ). ‘Christ’ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Messiah, which means “Anointed One.”
The Lord Jesus tests each one of us personally too with the same question: “Who do you say that I am?” This is a personal question and therefore, this demands a personal response from us. It is true that we have read and heard many things about Jesus. That He is: the Son of God, sinless, forgives sin, miracle worker, a teacher, a healer, a preacher, a prophet. For St. Gregory of Nazianzus (381 A.D.), Jesus for him is:
He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.
Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.
Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest.
Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King.
Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons.
Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.
Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.
Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.
But do these descriptions about Jesus move and inspire us to love Him all the more? To know Jesus is not just a matter of the mind but we should imitate Him the way He lives, the way He loves and forgives people and the way He spends His time with people, a priest said in his homily.
To imitate Jesus concretely, I suggest that we will have and do the following:
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in other people. To lose weight, let go of stress, hatred, anger, contentment and the need to control others.
To improve your ears, listen to the word of God.
For poise, walk with knowledge and self-esteem.
To strengthen your arms, hug at least 3 people a day. Touch someone with your love.
To strengthen your heart, forgive yourself and others. Don’t worry and hurry so much.
Doing these things on a daily basis will certainly make you a more beautiful person.