Zec 12:10-11; 13:1
Jesus asked his followers who do people say that I am? There were a variety of answers, Elijah, John the Baptist, one of the ancient prophets. Then Jesus asked who do you say that I am? Peter gave the answer, the Christ, the Son of God. No one apparently dissented from that answer, an answer that said much more than who Jesus is, but said who they, Christ's followers were, and are. Christ warned of dire things to come, suffering, persecution, death. Christ also spoke of great things, resurrection. Christ told them that in order to follow him they must take up their cross, deny themselves, give themselves to God and to others. Answering by saying that Jesus is the Christ, defines them as they strive to take up crosses and follow. How do we, today, answer that simple question, who do you say that I am? There are still a variety of answers, those who claim there was no Jesus, no actual person, just a myth. There are those who claim that Jesus was a simple itinerant preacher, a wise man who said great things, but not God. Then there is us, we who gather to celebrate, who proclaim the answer that Peter gave, you are the Christ of God. The basic statement of our faith, the kerygma, Jesus is Lord. We proclaim it, we believe it, we say who Jesus is, and at the same time we say who we are. We, as a people, are defined by this acknowledgement of Christ. Who we are, what we do, should be defined by our belief in that statement. When we say who Jesus is, we say who we are. We are a people striving to e compassionate, a people striving to be loving, a people striving to live the belief of that kerygmatic statement, Jesus is Lord. Of course we do not always succeed. We fall short, often, not always accepting the crosses that come our way, not always denying ourselves, not always loving as we should. Yet we strive, we reach we try, imperfect as we may be, to reach that ideal, to live as Christ asks. We strive, and in that attempt should someone look at us and ask who are they, one can truly and honestly say they are Christians.
The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 20, 2010