“Who do you say that I am?” This is the question Jesus asks of us each and every day. What do I say, on a personal level, about who Jesus is? Where are the places in my life in which I have had to identify and recognize who Jesus really is for me? The answer to this question is an individual response; not one that we are able to answer with our spouse, a relative or our best friend.
The disciples of Jesus first responded to Jesus’ question by telling him all the things people were saying about him. But Jesus was not really concerned about what others were saying; he was more concerned with the answer to the second question, “Who do you say that I am?” This is a personal question – one that requires great faith. Our lives, as Christians, do not require us to know about Jesus; but, more importantly, who he is in our lives. If we address this question honestly, we will find that it is life-changing – Jesus is our personal savior. As our personal savior, we are able to know and discern his mission for us. This mission begins for us at our baptism when the priest reminds our parents and godparents of their task and commitment of raising the baptized child in the imitation of Jesus. We, in return, need to ask ourselves: have we been faithful to the authority and responsibility entrusted to us? Or have we betrayed this trust by misusing this power and authority?
Just as Peter was given was given the keys of faith, all of us, whether parents, children, teachers, students, employers, employees, elected officials, electorate, priests, parishioners, ministers, and all who call us to service, have been given these same keys. Let us not lose nor drop these keys, nor let anyone take them away from us.
After 2000 years, we have the same exact faith that the disciples of Jesus had. It has not changed one bit. Jesus promised Peter: “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church. And the gates of the nether world shall not prevail against it.”
We are living in the 21st century and Jesus continues to question us. So, let us ask ourselves daily: “Who do you say that I am?” Am I able to answer with Peter, today, and every day of my life: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We are only able to make this proclamation through faith. It is not something that has been told to us or revealed to us but a faith that has been given to us freely by God, himself. We need to thank God for this free gift. Besides our faith, we are also guaranteed that if we believe Jesus and his message of salvation we will be able to exclaim as we are told in Matthew (7:21): “Only those who do the will of my Father in heaven will enter the kingdom.”