“Who do people say that I am?”
He was asking them..
Do people know who I am?
Do they get it?
Do they know how much I love them?
Do they know I will be willing even to die for them?
And Do they really know what it means to follow me?
As the disciples responded it became obvious that many people didn’t get it, or didn’t know who Jesus was.
Some thought he was John the Baptist who had come back to life, others thought he was Elijah or some other prophet.
After over two years of preaching about God’s love and healing
people knew Jesus was someone special,
but they just didn’t understand who he was and what he had come to do.
And then Jesus turned to his dearest friends and he looked them in the eye and he said.
“And You who do you say that I am?”
At first all of them were afraid to answer,
They were afraid to show their cards lest they give the wrong answer.
They were probably confused too, only Peter had the courage to step forward and say “You are the Christ” or the Messiah
With those simple words, that profession of faith, Peter confirmed his belief that Jesus was indeed the Messiah the long promised savior of the world.
Jesus did not deny he was the Messiah but he simply told them not to tell anyone, why?
The title Messiah had come to mean so many different things over the centuries.
- Some thought the Messiah would restore a Godly or Holy King to Jerusalem.
- Others thought that the Messiah would establish a Kingdom of justice and peace and prosperity.
- Others thought that the Messiah would be a warrior king who would defeat the Roman and drive them out making Israel the most powerful country in the world.
No one thought that the Messiah would have suffer and die for the salvation of the world and yet that’s exactly what Jesus would do.
So as soon as Jesus admitted to his closest friends that he was indeed the Messiah he told them that he would have to be rejected, suffer and die.
And he told them that If they really believed that he was the Messiah
and if they really wanted to follow him,
they too would have to be willing to suffer and possibly even die for love.
When Jesus said that he wasn’t just speaking to the twelve.
He was also speaking to us.
Jesus doesn’t promise a new political order.
Jesus doesn’t promise us justice and peace.
Jesus has already come and there sadly the world is still rocked by violence and suffering.
All we have to do is look at the tragedy in Orlando and the violence all over the world to understand that.
Jesus doesn’t promise us prosperity if we follow Him. The televangelists who promise prosperity if you contribute to their work do so much damage to the Gospel.
Jesus makes us two promises the Cross and Heaven
You see He understands the only way to save to world is to be willing to suffer for it.
And so good people when he asked the disciples “Who do you say that I am.”
He was also asking us the same question
and when he told them that they had to pick of their crosses and follow him..
He was also challenging us to do the same and to follow him.
They way we respond to Jesus’ call to pick up our crosses and lose our live for love will determine what kind of families we will raise,
What kind of schools we will have and communities we will live in.
Our willingness to pick up our crosses and sacrifice for others will determine
What kind of country we become,
And what kind of world we will leave for our children .
It will also determine how we will spend eternity.
As Jesus said only by giving our lives away
Can we save them.
Only by picking up our crosses can we call ourselves faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
You know we can hide in our creature comforts for a while but anyone who has ever really loved knows that love really means giving our lives away. Day in and day out.
Today is Father’s day
My Father taught me how to be a man
He taught me how sacrifice for your family
He taught me how to go to work when he didn’t want to and put up with all kinds of crazy people.
He ingrained in me, never to be satisfied with job half done of done poorly.
When I was a little boy I knew that I was always safe when I was with him or in his arms. When I watched him take care of us and his aging Mom Grandma Susie
I knew He knew all about suffering love.
And most of all like my Mom he taught me about God’s love and God’s call.
He never ever missed Mass. We always went to confession as a family.
He was the first one into the confessional and I never forgot that.
I wondered what a perfect man had to say…
Let us pray for our Fathers..
Prayer for Fathers’ day
God our Father, We give you thanks and praise for fathers young and old.
We pray for young fathers, newly embracing their vocation; May they find courage and perseverance to balance work, family and faith in joy and sacrifice.
We pray for our own Fathers who gave us life
We pray for fathers around the world whose children are lost or suffering;
May they know that the God of compassion walks with them in their sorrow.
We pray for men who are not fathers but still mentor and guide us with fatherly love and advice.
Bless, encourage them, help them always Lord