Reflection for Thursday, August 5, 1999: 18th week in Ordinary Time.
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Who do you say that I am?|The Israelites of the Exodus answered this question two different ways. By following Moses out of Egypt they said, "This God of Moses and our ancestors is more powerful than the Pharaoh, and cares about us enough to deliver us." They entrusted their lives to a God who could, and did, set them free. Their trust was not misplaced.|But at Meribah, those Israelites said something different about the God they followed. They said, in their challenge against Moses, "We cannot see how your God can bring us safely through this." Their actions revealed their second answer to that question - we are fearful, this situation looks impossible, and we don't believe our God is powerful or caring enough to see us through.|Who do you say that I am?|Peter also had two answers to this question from Jesus. I think his first answer was inspired by a glimpse of God's glory in Jesus - "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!"|In the very next passage, however, Peter reveals his humanness. Jesus begins to tell his disciples of his impending suffering and death. Peter's response is one of fear, one that cannot see beyond an impossible, tragic situation. In effect, he is saying, "I believe that You are someone who can be broken and crushed by death. I do not believe You are bigger than death or that your Father is powerful or caring enough to bring you through this."|Who do you say that I am?|I, too, have two answers to that question. There are moments of clarity when I am caught up, like Peter, in an intimate experience of a living God. And there are days of fear and despair, when I effectively say, "I don't believe You can help me through this." More importantly, my aversion to prayer says, "I don't believe You love me enough..." enough to help me, enough to be present in the messiness and sinfulness of my life, enough for me to let you see who I really am. But do you know what? It was on a person like me, full of both grace and fear, that Jesus built His church. If Christ's glory in His church can shine through someone as human as Peter, why can't that glory shine through me, with my mixture of faith and doubt? If I can bring to Jesus the many different, human answers I have to His question, maybe it can.|And you, who do you say that I am?|Readings Texts On Line|for Sunday|Retreat Page
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