WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?
Friday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Scriptural Readings: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11; Psalms 144: 1b and 2abc, 3-4; Luke 9:18-22
My dear encountered couples:
Today Jesus is praying in solitude and his disciples were there with him. After a time, Jesus turned to his disciples and asked: “Who do the people say that I am?” Clearly Jesus wanted some feedback from the disciples. They said in reply: “Some say you are John the Baptist. Others believe you are Elijah or one of the ancient prophets who has arisen.” Jesus then asked: “But who do you say that I am?”
Many people in the past have claimed to be the Messiah, the savior, Jesus Christ in the flesh. And no doubt many will claim the same in the future. If they do not explicitly give those titles to themselves, they act as if they were the ones upon whom the salvation of mankind depends. Remember David Koresh of Waco, Texas? But no matter who tries to usurp the place of Christ, there is one test that only one has ever passed. Jesus himself specified that test.
“The Son of Man,” Jesus said, “must first endure many sufferings, be rejected by the elders, the high priests and the scribes, and be put to death, and then be raised up on the third day.” Maybe many Christ claimers have been rejected by people, made to suffer, even killed by those in authority, but have any of them ever come back from the dead? There is one man, and only one man, who has passed that test. I doubt that you or I will ever believe in and follow any other. But there are so-called messiahs not only in the personages of people, there are messiah claims in the guise of things.
Do we not sometimes seek happiness and salvation in things? Do we not sometimes get deluded into thinking that this or that object or event, fantasy or fetish, circumstance or happening will bring into our lives heaven on earth? If so, then we are allowing a thing, not a person, to claim to be our messiah.
Jesus alone is God and savior. We must not forget that. He is the only one, the only thing, the only dream who has ever overcome death and destruction. Let us never even play with the idea of placing our hopes or our lives in the hands of any other.