June 19, 2016
“Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’
They said in reply, ‘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?’”
One of the wonderful discoveries about our experience of the weekly Liturgy of the Word is the realization that even though the Sunday cycle of proclaimed readings repeats every three years, the Scriptures can always seem new to us. Even though they might not change, we certainly do.
The simple question that Jesus puts to his disciples in today's Gospel has new meaning in light of the ministry of Pope Francis. More than ever, I hear this question with more urgency and significance. It is not merely about a correct title or a metaphysical or ontological category. Jesus asks his disciples—and us, “Who am I to you? What difference has it made in your life that you have known me and been touched by me?”
Lord Jesus, who loved us to death,
who embraced us by becoming one of us,
let us know you more deeply and follow you more nearly.
Give us the courage to take up our crosses and the burdens of those around us,
in imitation of you.
By losing our lives for your sake, may we be saved. Amen.
Thomas V. Stehle
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle