Christ and His Disciples

First Reading: Jer. 31:31-34

Psalm: Ps. 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19

Gospel: Mt. 16: 13-23

In today’s gospel, Jesus asks his disciples what he means to them individually and personally. Jesus was not testing his disciples if they knew the facts and background data about his life. He was more interested to know about their personal and intimate relationship with him, and how they defined this connection. Indeed, though the Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, let us not forget that a one-on-one, meaningful rapport with him is equally important.

Imagine if Jesus himself asked us the question: “Who do you say I am?” After going through a lengthy discourse about the details of his life, his ministry, and reciting the words to every memorized prayer, he smiles and says: “Okay, that’s all on the record, but who am I to you?” What would be our answer?

In a song entitled “How Real am I?”, a part of the lyrics goes, “My Body and Blood, or just bread and wine? Does it come from your heart, or just from your mind?” Are we Catholic-Christians by mere instruction, or true commitment? Is our familiarity with our Faith based on textbook knowledge, or living experience? Do we know Jesus in our heads, but not in hearts?

Who do we say he is?