Aug. 4, 2016

The best way to deal with Jesus

"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt.16:16)

I see in Peter's expression above the need for individuals and families to identify Christ as real. It's live and a living relationship to know Jesus. In this gospel passage, (Matthew 16:13-20), we notice that followers of Jesus didn't know who he truly was. The question, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is", implicated Christ's followers. "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets" (Matt.16:14), was the answer. They had different opinions, guesses without certainty. Then Christ went direct, "But who do you say that I am?" Could it be that Christ didn't know who he was himself and needed some human assistance? Sure, the answer is no. Two things are obtainable here: 1). Christ wanted the apostles to know him and his transcendental origin. 2). He wanted the disciples to establish a working relationship with him and thus recognize that he himself knows them as God. Peter got this right in his answer.

It is easy to deal with Christ as guess work. It is simple to say what others say of him. Imagine when you feel the weight of pains in your life and that of your family. Imagine when it gets too tough in your life to believe that God is still present in your circumstances. I remember a time when things became real tough in my family. My dad and mom struggled so hard with their finances to see all nine of us in school. At some point, my dad sold off his car. Buying clothes was tough. The old goodies were gone. Our last daughter became so ill and was moved from one hospital to another. It didn't seem like she was getting alright. Different suggestions and advice were flying in from concerned friends and relatives. We were a bit discouraged; it was like a folk in the road. We tried hard to pray. My dad called us together and said, "God gave you all to us. He'll take care of you for your mom and I". That stuck in our ears. It was a strong declaration for Jesus.

When Peter says, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God", he tells Jesus that he is the solution to everything. He tells Jesus that he knows him too well and is willing to work with him. He invites Him to work with him as well. That is the profession of faith.

Just know that Jesus remains Christ, the Son of the living God. Look him straight in the face and tell him that you know and recognize him. Go to him in the Blessed Sacrament and remind him that he is the Christ. Tell him that you carry burdens which he alone can lighten. Tell him that you have needs which he alone can solve. Understand that he is real. It may be tough, but Jesus is tougher. It may be complicated, that's His specialization.

May Jesus be to you the Christ, the Son of the Living God.