Grace to you!
Who is Christ in my life?
The first disciples of the Lord had to answer this question. They had to have that alone-moment of spiritual self-examination. Such a question has to be addressed when we seem alone or lonely in our spiritual struggles. It is fitting when we feel like aliens or outsiders in the world in which we live. They are apt in moments of doubt.
Some see Christ when their problems are solved, and miracles occur. Some embrace him when their social needs are met. Some people believe in him only when the going is rosy and fun. Or rather, some believe and teach that it is only a prosperous life that is proof that Christ is Lord in one's life.
If Christ is the messiah only when he comes and saves us from all our social and health needs, what kind of Christ is he? If he is the messiah because he supplies my material needs, what kind of saving favor is that to my faith?
Many people did not accept Jesus as Christ during his earthly life. One of the main reasons is because he wasn’t a militant liberator, the kind they had expected. His followers weren’t the sort that could engage in the military campaign either. They and their leader, Jesus, were no good fit for the kind of brand the people wanted for a messiah. For short, he wasn't a hot-seller brand. More, he was a PR disaster.
Yet the Lord would avoid such distractions. He departs from situations in which his Lordship is acknowledged only through the crowns. He isn't abiding forever when only his glory is embraced, and the way to that glory is rejected.
Saint Peter made an incredible profession regarding the Christ at Caesarea Philippi, a little city close to the sources of the River Jordan. “You are the Christ” (Mk 8:30). The Gospel of Matthew gives further details of this Peter’s profession: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). The Lord follows this profession with the most explicit teaching regarding his crucifixion (Mk 8:31-33), showing the connection between the two.
I believe that unless Christ is Lord in our sufferings, he can't be Lord in our glories. It is from the friendship mentored through our down moments that we reap rich fruits on sunny days. Enduring glory exists because it emerges from the depths of suffering. In such is a pleasant surprise, a delightful breakthrough.
So, when next your suffering seems unusually deep, remember, Christ is with you right there. When people push you around for a quick fix, remember that the Lord’s ways aren’t a magical input and output of favored results.
Continue to profess Christ as Lord. Your glory as a believer is rooted in that profession. It is in holding on to the Lord amidst all odds. He is the perfecter of your faith (Heb 12:2). Such is the profession of faith that emerges in spiritual leadership. Such is aligned to Saint Peter’s at Caesarea Philippi.
Do not be fixated on who people say Christ is. Know it to have a robust response to them. But invest more on whom you say he is. It is in this personal discovery that your faith grows stronger. It is the most precise way of a vigorous response to doubters.
I am praying for the grace of a more deep-rooted, personal encounter with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
[Thursday Week 6: Jas 2:1-9; Mk 8:27-33]
Photo source: Rodrigo from Cathopic.com
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.