Jesus is recognized by Peter as the Christ of God. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Prayer so he can speak and listen to God as a child and by seeking the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit so he can renew and strengthen his solemn vow to follow Jesus.
25th Week in Ordinary time – Friday – Lk 9:18-22
After allowing the Apostles to participate in the miraculous Feeding of the 5000, Jesus probes the Apostles about His identity and begins to provide clarity to the Apostles about what God intends for the Messiah.
There was much speculation as to the identity of Christ and Jesus uses the confusion to reveal Himself to the Apostles. Asking the Apostles, “Who do people say that I am?”, Jesus alludes to His true identity as the Son of God; God reveals Himself by name to Moses by saying, “I am” (Ex 3:13-14). The Apostles respond, confirming most thought Jesus was a great prophet who had returned: John the Baptist, Elijah or another prophet. Jesus forces the Apostles to think for themselves: “But who do you say that I am?, a question that had perplexed the Apostles (Mt 8:27).
Simon Peter immediately proclaims, “The Christ of God”; in this, Peter’s role as leader of the Apostles and the early Church is confirmed. Acknowledging He is Christ (Jesus does not correct Peter), Jesus forbids them from revealing His identity for the time being; the Apostles will proclaim His Divinity after the Resurrection. Jesus mysteriously alludes to His horrific death on the Cross, revealing He will suffer, be rejected by Israel, be killed and raised from the dead on the third day. Omitted from today’s reading (v 23-26), Jesus stuns them further, revealing, they too must be willing to take up their cross and follow Him in sacrifice and death if they wish to be saved. Jesus warns the Apostles’ against the shame and scandal of the Cross and resistance to His sacrificial death, revealing in His Second Coming, He will judge and reject those who refuse to accept His Crucifixion.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by how Jesus, the Divine Prophet, after inciting great joy in the Apostles by the revelation that He is the long-awaited Messiah, reveals the hard truth about the Cross: with Divine Knowledge that comes from outside of time, Jesus accurately predicts the rejection by the Jewish elite and how He will suffer and be killed; full of Divine Power, Jesus reveals He will be raised from the dead, a miracle which is outside of human experience.
Speak and listen to God as a child
Realize: While Jesus is continually in the presence of God the Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus prays at decisive moments during the Incarnation as a demonstration to teach His men how to pray.
Believe: Reflect upon Jesus as the Model of Prayer (CCC 520, 1694, 2600-2601) and the need for Prayers of Petition (CCC 2629-2633).
Pray: Jesus, Model of Prayer, help me grow in the Virtue of Prayer (a part of Justice) so I speak to You each day with openness like You prayed to the Father, I give You thanks for my many blessings, I ask for Your help, and I listen intently to You so I know and can better do Your Will in my life.
Renew your solemn vow to follow Jesus
Realize: As He did with the Apostles, Jesus directly asks every Catholic man this question: “Who do you say that I am?” Each man must ultimately answer this question and decide to follow Jesus or not.
Believe: Reflect upon Jesus’ Divine Identity (CCC 203, 430, 440, 590).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Piety so my heart and mind are overwhelmed with awe of Jesus, I solemnly vow to follow Him, and I joyfully live my life to give all honor and glory to Christ through the zealous practice of the Catholic faith.