16 September 2018 – Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Taking a deeper look
I think it was the Bette Midler character who said in the 1988 film “Beaches” after delivering a long update on how she was.
“But enough about me, let’s talk about you… what do YOU think of me?“
– CC Bloom (Beaches 1988)
Jesus doesn’t ask the “Who do people say I am”-“who do you say I am” question in any self-seeking way. There is a force, a directness to His question which is addressed to each of us personally. We each have to work out the answer for ourselves.
Mind you, we personally could do with getting some feedback from people in our lives, what we need to hear, not what we would like to hear.
Who do people say that I am? Who do I think I am? Who would I like to become? I’m not so sure we are good at asking these kinds of self-reflective questions. Going even deeper to asking -who am I? Where am I going in my life? What kind of person am I? What kind of person do others think I am?
They tell of one young child praying in his bed after Dad tucked him in “Dear God please make me a fine good man like my dad.” Moments later, his Dad knelt over his sleeping son and prayed “Dear God, please make me more like the man my son thinks I am.”
We cherish freedom and choice, but we need to ask what kind of choices am I making to get to be more like the person I want to be? Is that to be a selfish or selfless person. A person centred on the world or beyond it? The choice is set before me. As I reflect on who I am, I must ask myself, am I centered on the things of God? Am I focused on Jesus the Christ? Or am I centered on the things of this world? Would Jesus say to me as he did to Peter, “Get behind me Satan?”
If I love things like money, power, fame, possessions, control, manipulation- the wrong path awaits.
Archbishop Oscar Romero who is to be canonised (probably October 2018) along with Blessed Paul VI said these words. He paid with his very life in 1980 for putting Christ first.
“Christianity is not a collection of truths to be believed, of laws to be obeyed…Christianity is a person…Christianity is Christ.” (Archbishop Oscar Romero)