FRIDAY: Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Knowing Christ intimately in an absolute imperative for his followers. Living in him, moving in him, and have our being in him, we cannot be strangers to Christ. We are undeniably members of his mystical body in the world. God etched his Spirit into the fabric of our hearts purposefully that we may know him intimately (Jer.31:31-34). More so, now that we eat his body, drink his blood, and we have his spirit coursing through our soul in anticipation of our resurrection and eternal inheritance with him it is impossible for us to confuse Christ’s identity with the identity of John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets. Peter has set the tone of the dialogue for us. Jesus is “’ The Christ of God’”. He is the one who has come “to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Mk.10:45).”
Why was this question about the identity of Christ so necessary for the disciples? The scandal of his Passion and his crucifixion were looming. It was essential the disciples recognise Christ and acknowledge him as the one whom Isaiah spoke of as the Suffering Servant of God (Is.53). For this reason Jesus, after Peter’s confession concluded the discourse with the following statement: “The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and raised up on the third day (Lk.9:22).”
The allusion to his resurrection was meant to dispel the fear of death, to inspire hope in his disciples, and to assure them that Christ’s death in itself was not going to be his tragedy but a means through which God the Father was redeeming and renewing the world.
What significance does this threefold question about Christ’s identity hold for us as modern-day Christians? First, as witnesses of Christ, we must readily accept him as the Anointed One of God. Second, we must acknowledge him as living sacrifice four our sanctification, justification and, glorification. Thirdly, that we understand who and what Christ is will determine our modus operandi as Christians in the world. We are anointed like Christ; we share in his threefold ministry as priests, prophets and kings. Our task is to redeem the world like Christ. Thus, like Christ, we must prepare ourselves to face rejection and endure the cross as suffering servants of God in the world to bring about the new heaven and the new world God initiated in Christ. Our inheritance, for now, is hidden in Christ.
It is by knowing Christ and acknowledging him as the anointed One of God that the mortal temple of ours will be filled with God’s glory.
Lord, let me grow in intimacy with you that I may be your witness in every situation you call me to serve you.