“Who Do You Say I Am?”

Reflection for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Board Treasurer, Br. Paul Crawford, OFM Cap.

This reflection was originally posted in our August 21 newsletter


Rock Wall.Caesarea-Philippi2Over the past few weeks, we have been listening to stories of Jesus while He and His disciples were, shall we say on the road. Today, we see the importance of content and place. Why did they travel so far, and why did they enter the town are good questions to ponder as we look into the plan of God.

In the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah, we hear how the Lord told the Master of the palace: “I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station…I will place the key of the House of David on him.” God is changing the order of things because as it says in Psalm 138; “Your kindness O Lord, endures forever.” God wants us to be open to change, and to be open to seeing and doing things differently.

One of the most impressive pieces of landscape in all of Israel is the massive rock wall at Caesarea Philippi. It’s upon a sheer cliff and at the time of Jesus was a sign of the Power and Presence of Rome, a temple to remember Caesar. Also at that time in history there were many carved out niches on the side of the cliff to honor pagan gods.

So, here is Jesus with the disciples between a vision and place of Rome’s power and shrines to pagan gods and He ask them “Who do the people say I am?” And, “Who do you say I am?” Perhaps, Jesus was also asking, am I just another one of those gods?

Peter from his heart says: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” Jesus then looks at Peter and says “Keshas”, Aramaic for rock, translated in Greek as Petra’s/Peter, it is upon this human rock I will build my church. Christ came to teach us a new way of life. That even upon a shaky rock like Peter, God works. Sometimes with us and, more often, in spite of us.

God simply waits for each one of us to have our eyes opened, to see Him in the poor and marginalized, to speak truth to power, and to accept others as God has accepted us. To love those that disagree with us and to pray for God to open others hearts and lives to the grace of His presence today in our lives and in our society.

For, it needs to be true that others can say: “See how they love others in Christ’s Name”.

Br. Paul Crawford, OFM Cap.
FAN Board Treasurer

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Published in: on August 22, 2017 at 9:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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