(St. Vincent De Paul, Priest)
Jesus said to His disciples, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Lk 9:18-22
They replied with what they heard through the air, the rumors, the gossip, the hearsay. The crowds were those who saw Jesus from a distance. They may have caught a word or two. They may have seen a miracle. But they weren’t with Him all the time, like the disciples were. So they may not have caught the big picture of who Jesus really was and is.
So Jesus asked them a second time, “But who do you say that I am?”
Now that question should have received a totally different answer. Some pondered, some had no idea, yet Peter responded immediately, “The Christ of God.” Maybe it was just parroting what he heard Jesus say earlier. Maybe he truly understood, for a moment, because later he still struggled with what being “the Christ of God” really meant.
What about us, beloved? Do we truly know who Jesus is? We see a crucifix hanging on the neck of a rapper whose every other word is a curse. We see a cross on the desk of the salesman who would have you sell your first born to get his profit. We see Jesus tattooed on the arms of the guy who forced his girlfriend to get an abortion. And our own Church dismisses its volunteers as coldly as the corporate world. Does ANYONE really know what the LOVE of Jesus is all about???
Try to let go of all those preconceived notions. Even get rid of all those fancy words like sanctification, salvation, justification and redemption. And just ponder the LOVE. Look through the Gospels and notice that every time Jesus got upset – it was because the LOVE was missing. They just didn’t get it. What did He teach? What did He do? It ALL came out of His LOVE, and that’s exactly how He wants us to be!
How do we treat our coworkers? How do we treat our volunteers – they should be treated more highly than gold, for they are working for nothing! How do we communicate with our children? And how do we communicate with our parents? IS IT ALL BASED ON LOVE? If it is, beloved, then we truly are getting to know Jesus. So, “Who do YOU say that I am?” Jesus is the PURITY of Love!
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but beginning of LIFE – in the Kingdom!