This last Sunday the homilist invited us to sit quietly for a moment, knowing that Christ is present, and listening to Him asking each of us that question ‘Who do you say I am?’ And then, after a few minutes, we were invited to share what we wanted to with the person next door. And then, anyone who wished could share a thought with the whole community. One person who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer said ‘Jesus is strength for me’. Another said ‘He is the one who challenges me’. Then a young boy asked ‘Why did Jesus ask that question?’ I’m sure the theologians and biblical scholars would have a lot to say about that. But why would anyone ask a question like that? Was it for affirmation? Encouragement? Reassurance? Was it to get his friends to open their eyes, or to think outside the box?
In our own lives, can we consider that question? Maybe even ask it of a close friend – Who do you say I am? Perhaps this week we can set a few people free, unbind them from their lack of self-esteem or anxiety by simply recognising one another’s need for affirmation and encouragement. Perhaps tune in to other people a little more, especially those with whom you live or work, and take the opportunity to say ‘I think you’re doing a really great job’ or ‘thanks for listening to me – I really value your friendship’ or ‘It’s good to have you around – you encourage me’. Can we recognise the goodness of one another? The Holy Spirit is echoing in the hearts and lives of all if we can but see it, and through us is ready to unbind and fill with ‘the healing power of love’.
‘All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him. To him be glory for ever! Amen’ (Romans 11:36)