A LIFE-DEFINING QUESTION

This reflection is based on Mark 8:27-35.

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In today’s Gospel, our Lord asks His disciples a life-defining question: “Who do you say that I am?” It is a life-defining question because the way we answer that question–who, for us, Jesus is–should have tremendous consequences on our lives. Who we say–and believe–Jesus is, if taken seriously, must affect our decisions and shape our actions.

Peter’s answer to that question, which he makes on behalf of the disciples, is simple and straightforward enough: “You are the Christ.” In giving this answer, he is professing that Jesus is the fulfilment of Israel’s longings even if he may not at the time fully understand what this means and what it entails.

But the consequences of this response are deep and far-reaching in their lives. The disciples of Jesus leave their homes, their work, their families, and their former lives in order to follow Jesus. Their lives have, in the process, been defined by their response to Jesus’ question. In many ways, more than the actual words of Peter, the way they have lived their lives is the real response to Jesus’ question.

How about us? What is our answer to this question? Let’s think about it for a while.

But also remember: Whatever our verbal answers are, as in the case of the disciples, the real response is our lives as defined by our answers.

If we say that Jesus is our Lord, how much weight do we actually give to His teachings and commands when we make the important decisions in our lives? If indeed He is Lord, He ought to rule over our decisions and actions.

If we claim that Jesus is a Beloved Friend, how much serious consideration do we make of Him and His preferences in the same manner we would our dearest friends in the way we allocate our time? Do we give Him ample time? Do we waste time with Him? Do we allot for Him the so-called “primetime” of our days–or does He end up simply making do with whatever leftover time we have at the end of the day, if any at all?

Today’s Gospel is a challenge to us not only to answer the question verbally, but to allow our answer to make a real difference in our lives.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “A LIFE-DEFINING QUESTION”

  1. In attempting to answer that question of Our Lord’s, I try not to be glib and give a ready answer but to reflect and give a sincere and honest answer. Binggoy’s ‘himay’ of the original question may help.

  2. If I asked who is Jesus in life…My response are,He is my Boy Friend,confidante,and my everything…He has journeyed with me since I was in Kinder.I see Him in the Tabernacle as truly present,only I have to see Him in the Light of Faith,believing that He is truly there.And sure He listens and answers request by and thru the environment and people.So with the Holy Eucharist,when He enters into my heart and we speak.I have to discern His will for me from time to time and that makes me happy up to this date.Father,thanks for your reflections…God bless and love you.

  3. Oh Jesus, keep working on in my life. Thats my only hope in my sinfulness. Thank you for seeking me first and loving me in all my attempts for you. Keep me close.

  4. Jesus’s question has always been a daunting one to answer for me. Or it elicits answers that sound less sincere than they really are. My love for wordplay and my tendency to always look beyond what is presented to me lead me to plug in the words What, When, How and Why to Jesus’s Who question.
    What do I say that You are?
    When do I actually say that You are?
    And How do I say that You are?
    Why can I say that You are?
    Perhaps in this way, answering the question might be a little more manageable.

  5. Simple question, yet difficult to answer Fr. J. Seriously, got me into thinking of how my relationship has been with Jesus. It’s a challenge indeed to allow my answer to make a real difference in my life. Haven’t really thought of it that way. Thanks, Fr. J for making us see things in a different light.

  6. Hi FJ, this reminds me so much of your Catechism class that I attended in XS years ago, “Your definition of God says a lot about you, how you live your life.” This lesson has been with me ever since and has significantly helped me live my life as meaningfully as I can. This article further reminds us to really check how we actually spend our time each day to make sure it aligns with our claimed definition. ????

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