August 23, 2020

Jesus’ question to His disciples in today’s gospel is one that is as relevant today as it was over two thousand years ago. It is a question whose answer would become very consequential both on the part of the disciples and on the part of the master. Knowing who Jesus was would be key to their having a sense of purpose as they threw in their lot with Him. If they truly know Him, then they would understand why they were called in the first place and the glory associated with being called. On the other hand, it is a knowledge that would become an assurance, to Jesus, that the ministry for which He came and for the sake of which He would die, would have any chance of success. It makes all the difference how we understand or fail to understand who God truly is. It is true that for some of us God is just something or someone to be used, a being that is simply there for the satisfaction of our desires. Such reductionism, whereby God becomes like an instrument which we pick up when we need Him and dump when we do not, is the worst imaginable relationship with God. There are others, however, for whom God is everything. He is in the air we breathe, the food we eat, a friend when everything goes well and a refuge when they do not. For such people God the father who humbles and exults, the beginning and end of all things. The only one capable of establishing us firmly in our positions and able to uproot when He judges fit.  Everything belongs to Him and life is inconceivable without Him. This understanding of God is one that should fill us with both love and awe for His Majesty; who looks with kindness upon us lowly mortals. To Him be all the glory forever and ever, Amen.

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