Commentary on the Gospel of
All the readings today have something to offer to us about the identity of Jesus. The reading from Zechariah points to Jesus who will be crucified and the great mourning that will result. The readings from Galatians and the Gospel of Luke name Jesus as the Christ, the anointed one. In addition, we all have teachers and parents, theologians and scripture scholars who can tell us who they think Jesus is. But I think one of the most important things from today’s gospel reading is the invitation from Jesus for us to say and claim who we think Jesus is. I think Jesus is inviting us to find our voice. To name how we experience Jesus.
I have recently been struggling to know and hear my own voice. I am aware of many voices in my head, people saying I should do this or I should act this way, this is what I should believe. I have been making an intentional effort to identify whose voice I am hearing and then pausing to say to myself, what do I think? Do I agree with their voice? The voices are many and varied. I hear my mother’s voice, my father’s voice, the voice of teachers, the voice of my children and husband, the voice of the Church. It is really crowded in there. Sometimes I don’t even realize it is not my voice I am hearing or following. So, when I was reflecting on the gospel story for today, I could hear Jesus (yes, another voice) invite me to pause, and pray deeply and ask myself, “Who do I say Jesus is?” I invite you to do the same. Pray this story using Ignatian Contemplation.
I encourage you to find a space and some time to read the scripture through, enter the scene, in Ignatian fashion. See yourself there with Jesus and the disciples. Smell the surroundings. Hear the conversation. And then, imagine Jesus approaching you and asking “Who do you say that I am?” You, not your spouse, your neighbor, the Church. Dig deep into your heart – that place where God resides within you and you know that you are a loved child of God. What is your response? Who do you know Jesus to be? What is your experience of Jesus? Take your time. I encourage you to not respond with the first thing that comes to your mind. It is probably someone else’s voice. Who is Jesus to/for you? Tell him. And then, this is important, take a moment and see how he responds to you. Allow a conversation to develop. What do you learn about Jesus? How is Jesus inviting you to be in relationship with him?