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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Audio
Friday

Friday of the 25th week in ordinary time

Father Kevin MacDonald, C.Ss.R.

“Who am I?” Luke 9:18-22

“Who do you say that I am?” It’s a good question that Jesus asks his disciples. Jesus has just spent time in solitude with his Father in prayer. After it was over, he wanted to pass on what he had learned to his disciples. So he had gathered them together and asked, “Who do people say that I am?” Some of the disciples responded John the Baptist; others Elijah; still others, “one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

This is where Peter gives his famous reply, “You are the Messiah of God.” But what did that term mean in Peter’s imagination? What did it mean to the early Christians? What has it meant over the last 2000 years? What does it mean to you?

Catholic tradition has refined that answer over the centuries and today we would say that Christ is the one in whom we find the fullness of divinity. Everything it means to say, “The Father is God,” we can say about the Son, who is incarnate in Jesus. And we know that not only do we find full divinity, but we find full humanity, so that when we look to Jesus we see one who is like us in everything except sin.

So we would answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” by saying, “You are the one who shows us the fullness of divinity is to be found in a human being. And the fullness of humanity is to be glimpsed only when we see the reality of God.

If you want to know what it means to say the word, “God,” look at this person. Look at the life, death, and destiny of Jesus of Nazareth. And if you want to know what it means to be a human person; if you want to know who you are, look at this person. Look at the life, death, and destiny of Jesus of Nazareth. The fullness of God is found in the fullness of humanity. And visa versa; the fullness of humanity is to be found in the fullness of God.

Jesus also revealed to the disciples the cost of discipleship, that our lives move to the power of the resurrection only through the crucifixion. Knowing this fact does not make our decision to live our lives for Christ any easier. Bringing all of our needs to God in prayer does. Seeking God in prayer – and taking the time to listen – is the example that Jesus reveals to us throughout the Scriptures. We will learn who we are and, knowing that, we will know where God wants us to be. It is a lesson that never goes out of date.

Blessings,

Father Kevin MacDonald, C.Ss.R.