Sept. 13, 2015 - 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Maybe Jesus’ question “who do people say that I am?’ is a good question for us to ask ourselves.
Who do people say that I am? Who do I think I am? Who would I like to become? I’m not so sure we are good at asking these kinds of self-reflective questions.
Who am I? Where am I going in my life? What kind of person am I? What do other people think about me?
What kind of person do I want to be? How do I get there from here? What kind of choices am I making to get there?
What are the destructive choices that I make that keep me from becoming a better person?
Do I have a relationship with Jesus the Christ? If my answer is yes, what am I doing to build and strengthen that relationship? Sunday Mass is good place to start but it is probably not enough.
Is there prayer, scriptural meditation, study, personal reflection, spiritual direction?
Well come to think of it, maybe it’s more honest to say that Satan is a better friend of mine than the Lord?
A friendship or even an acquaintance with Satan is easy. Peter didn’t even realize it had happened and was probably terribly hurt when Jesus pointed it out to him, “Get behind me Satan. You are caught up in the things of this world.”
A relationship with Satan teaches me and tempts me to love the things of this world. Things like money, power, fame, possessions, control, manipulation.
A relationship with Jesus is far more difficult. And if I cultivate a relationship with Jesus the Christ I begin to focus on the things of heaven.
The things of heaven are far more subtle than the things of earth. Things like charity, kindness, forgiveness, generosity, prayer, fasting, self-denial, self-reflection, cross-bearing.
This is difficult but it helps me focus on the things of God instead of the things of this world. And focusing on the things of God helps me to become the person God is calling me to be.
And God is always calling me to be a better version of myself than I am today.
So the choice is set before me. As I reflect on who I am, I must ask myself, am I centered on the things of God? Am I focused on Jesus the Christ? Or am I centered on the things of this world? Would Jesus say to me, “Get behind me Satan?”
Am I trying to grow in self-understanding? Am I comfortable in my own skin? Am I honest with myself? Am I self-reflective? Am I working on those areas of my life that are ungodly?
Am I growing in the ways of God? Am I able to be alone with myself and my thoughts? Am I able to sit silently with God?
Who do people say that I am? I want them to say that I am a kind and loving and generous and honest person. They might not be saying that right now. And so that’s where I have to do some work.