Who Do You Say That I Am?
“… who do you say that I am?”
In the previous passage, Jesus has fed the multitudes with the five loaves and two fish (see Lk 9:10–17). It is easy to imagine the excitement of the event, as well as the exhaustion Jesus and the disciples probably felt afterward. In contrast, Luke tells us in today’s passage: “… Jesus was praying in solitude, and [only] the disciples were with him.…” I am struck by the intimacy of this passage. Luke sets the stage for something important to be communicated.
In this context of solitude and prayer, Jesus wants to bring the disciples into deeper awareness of who he truly is for them. Curiously, Jesus first asks them what others think about him: “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Only after they have elaborated on the opinions circulating among the people does Jesus ask, “But who do you say that I am?”
On my nightstand I have a framed picture of Jesus who looks directly at me, with bright eyes smiling. A line on the bottom reads (in Spanish): “and you, who do you say that I am?” Like the disciples, I too have heard Jesus ask me this question. Like the disciples, I am sometimes uncomfortable answering. In coming to a deeper truth about who Jesus is, I am called to conversion in the way in which I follow him.
I confess that I know that Jesus is God, that he is the Christ, my Savior, and the Redeemer of the world. I also confess that I don’t always act as one who believes this completely. Like the disciples, and the crowds who were fed, I want a Messiah who will be victoriously triumphant at all times. Yes, Jesus has won the victory … but he invites you and me to follow him as the Christ who lived, worked, suffered, was rejected, was put to death, and also rose again on the third day.
I hear Jesus inviting me, as he did Peter and the disciples, to deeper faith, a faith that accepts God’s revelation of himself as he truly is.
Jesus, I confess that you are the Christ, the Son of God. Lead me to deeper faith and trust in who you are. Help me to let go of my own expectations and open my heart to the revelation of who you are, at each moment. Jesus, give me courage to follow you in your paschal mystery, so that in daily dying and rising, I may open my life to you and let you live in me more and more. Amen.
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God!
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 202–203). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.