Mk 8: 27-35

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Once a year, a friend of mine makes a reality check on his faith. He pauses to reflect on important questions about his life. What do I believe? Who do I believe in? How do I live what I believe? This process does him a lot of good as it enables him to clarify where he stands in relation to God.


Jesus does the same thing in today’s Gospel. He asks his disciples a simple yet profound question, a simple yet intimate question. Who do you say I am?  Jesus knows that the disciples hear a lot of speculation about him. He was a famous yet mysterious person and so the crowds believe things about him based on hearsay, on impressions, on reactions made by other people. The disciples are definitely affected by all these. Or do they know him better than news and views that circulate in the land?


It is important for us, modern followers of Jesus, to answer this question too. Who is the Lord to us? We need to discover for ourselves his life, his words, his examples, his invitation, his power and his love! We need to own the faith we received from our parents, to make our own convictions and hold on to our own principles.


We know that we lose many Catholics each year. Most of them join other sects or become born-again Christians. They have one refrain: They do not know the Lord and they became born-again to know him in a personal way. But do you know that born-again Christians also lose members every year? They do not transfer to other groups; they become unbelievers.


Sometimes it takes a challenge to wake us up to know Jesus more, to grow and mature in our faith. A woman got married to an Iglesia ni Cristo member and was therefore asked by her husband to join him in their worship. She attended and listened. Coming home, she reflected on her own Catholic faith and upbringing. In the end, she decided she will never convert because what she heard there were all criticisms and accusations against Catholics. In her own church, she hears about love, forgiveness, giving and caring. She took a stand for her faith in Jesus, Son of God.


A young man was being forced to convert to Islam in Saudi Arabia. He landed in jail due to fabricated charges. The pressure was strong since non-Muslims were maltreated there. He began to recall his prayers, his Bible verses, his devotions. He held on to his faith in Jesus.


Why not make a reality check on your faith today. Who is Jesus to you? How much do you know him, love him and follow him? How does your faith impact your life in a positive way?