August 27th 2023 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time


Who do you say I am?

In the year 399 B.C. the great Greek philosopher, Socrates uttered an immortal one-liner in defence of his life when he was on trial: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’. We could say with equal certainty that ‘the unexamined faith is not worth having’. The core of the Christian faith is not doctrine but a relationship with a person. Jesus appears to be emphasizing this point when he addresses His disciples in the pagan heartland of Caesarea Philippi: ‘Who do you say I am’? It’s the ultimate question. It’s the central question of the Gospel. It’s a personal question for me today. It’s the question that I will face when I approach ‘the narrow door’ at the end. Do I really know Him then? Am I familiar with His Word? Do I create time and space in my life to listen to Him, and talk to Him in prayer? Many good people who call themselves Christian know ‘about’ Jesus, but few actually know Him. The analogy of the photograph comes to mind here. There is an enormous difference between looking at a person’s photograph and meeting that person face to face. The tragedy is that so many people just drift along on the surface of their faith without ever getting to know the Person at the centre of it