Our understanding of who God is plays a fundamental role in determining our relationship with Him. God could either be that being who occupies a particular space in our lives, or serves one type of purpose, or He can be everything that has meaning and value for our lives. He can be just a healer, for instance, to whom we run when we have challenges relating to our health, or he can be a protector upon whom we call for the safety of our journeys. He can be our comforter when we are grief stricken or He can be our solace when we face financial difficulties. He can be our recourse when we are searching for a life partner or a counselor when our marriage is in crisis. Or He can also be a combination of these values and resources. Either way, God is seen only from a purely materialistic point of view, to be used and dumped at will. We implore Him when we encounter that particular problem which we believe He can help us to solve, and we get rid of Him as soon as that problem is over. Such an understanding would amount to a mere instrumental value whereby God is utterly disposable, and completely dispensable. Who is God to you? Who is Jesus to you? This is very much like the question that Jesus posed to His disciples in today’s gospel: “Who do you say that I am?” The gospel tries to paint a comprehensive portrait of Jesus as the anointed one, based off of Peter’s response, but also as the suffering servant of God, whose glory is intermingled with His suffering on the cross. From this, we have an idea of a Jesus as both Father and Friend, Lord and Master, Savior and Redeemer. He is the son of God and the image of the invisible God who is willing to give up everything for the salvation of our souls, including a shameful death on the cross. What that means is that God should be present in every aspect of our lives, in good and bad times, in poverty and riches, in sorrow and grief. He is that Father who wants only what is best for us, and whose sole plan for us is to bring us to inherit that treasure that is inconceivable to the human mind, eternal life with Him in heaven. That is who Jesus is. We pray that God may grant us the grace to realize how much He loves and longs for us to be with Him, and that we may be willing to give Him our love in return. Amen.