A Sunday Reflection
By Bro. Peter Pocbit, CJM
This is not a typical statement claimed when Jesus asked his disciples: for you who do you say that I am? Unguarded moments are always the best chance to inquire whether a person holds a loved belief or a soul holds his/her breath of anger or any emotions.
We always own what we hold dear to us. I have contributed something to build the nation. I have changed people’s lives. I see the future coming with abundance. Owning gives identity to a person, being proud of whatever the undertaking or achievement has been done. It always operates this way. I don’t like it. My heart is on you. I have absolutely nothing to do with it.
But our invitation today as Christians holds true to what is ordinarily happening. It is taken in us that very claim of being the source of truth. In the Gospel, God spoke with so much clarity in the heart of Peter, the fisherman. How could he know that Jesus was the Messiah when an affectionate question sought for an answer.
Who do people say that I am? Not even a Pharisee or a synagogue official had been able to hold an honest knowledge of Jesus Christ. What was in their hearts? Anger, contempt, bitterness and remorse clouded the minds of people during Jesus time. What impurities were stored in the heart that made a soul unable to recognize that Jesus beame human for him. Noises in the heart prevents us to acknowledge what is essential. The heart remains shallow and disinterested. It hold to the little it knows and does not show openness.
The good news today calls us to have an open heart. God saw in Peter the quality of a child’s heart. He remained open and steadfast in his faith. He was mature in age yet he displayed a significant spirituality which had been kept and developed since his childhood. He pondered in his heart the series of events during the moments he was with Christ. He saw in his eyes and in his faith the guiding hands of God.
Such quality is what we need today. During this time of pandemic, God is still in control. This might be our opportunity to self-test ourselves how much faith do I have when faced with life’s trouble. Do I surrender to unbelief? Am I shaken due to a falling world? It is important to get in touch with our faith in God. There is an inner movement that always call each of us to respond at any moment of the day. And Peter took the chance to grow in his faith and love while the world outside of him fell to pieces.
God sends us the same invitation: who do you say that I am? Do you still believe in me despite the hopelessness the world is showing today? Do you love God whatever may happen to you? It does not matter whether the world turns its back from God or our health is failing? God brings us the “renewed Israel” and the “new humanity.” God sees us fit for Himself. We are originally made in His image and likeness. What does this mean? Peter the first among apostle shows us that it is God who teaches us the right things. God sees our hearts and enable each soul to journey in real and genuine path.
The experiences of Peter in faith and in love help him open up to things that God wanted him to show. Why was it that not a Pharisee or an elder of the Jews during that time of Jesus was able to confess that Jesus is the Christ? We know the answer: God chooses who should have received His blessings and wisdom. He sees the heart of His people. It is our joy to continue loving God with all our strength and with all we have. In this way we pray that God teaches us and guide us as we live out our Christian calling.
God knows and guides us to the right place. He leads us to eventually confess that Jesus is the Messiah like Peter, the first of the disciples. We can become like Peter because God makes us so. What we have is God’s gift to us.