2013/06/20 - Homily - “For you, who am I?”

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“For you, who am I?”

We know this question very well. We’ve heard it since our early days as Christians.  Since our childhood in the faith or since we were baptized as adults.  Why?  Because it is the first question that we need to answer if we are to really follow him.

Follow who? An amazing man who brought new light into the world by his teaching and his example.  A man with amazing self-control, a “super-man”, with crowds of followers looking for something new, something life-changing, something miraculous. He is, of course, able to do these miracles, but not in the way the crowd expects. In today’s gospel, St Luc says “one day, Jesus….” Everything he does, he is able to do it, because he prays constantly.

Jesus, through his prayer-ful life, is able to remain constantly in touch with the source of his life, God the father.  But it was difficult for people to recognize this.  Jesus really is the Son of God, the promised Messiah to generations past. It is no easier today to recognize Jesus than it was then.

But why is it so difficult to recognize Jesus for who he really is?  If we want to understand something new and remember it, we need to have space in our minds.  Just like small children are able to learn so many new things each day. But as adults, we are often too proud to admit our need and to keep this space available.  But just imagine how proud God is of us when we recognize Jesus as his son, as the Messiah!  To recognize and accept Jesus as he really is requires us to become like little children, and accept Jesus with an open mind and an open heart.  It is God’s gift of Grace to us that allows us to accept Jesus for who he is. 

Nobody can say that Christ is the son of God, sent to save us, if it has not been revealed to him by God himself.

Once we are clear with that, we are able to better understand the last sentence of today’s Gospel “ Who will follow me, that he should renounce of himself and  follow me »

Putting our footsteps into those of Christ also means being ready to lose something of our own life. But what? Something so important to us, something very difficult to accept; our own will.  We know how difficult it is to go against our earthly nature.  Our will is to obtain a good, peaceful life – and there’s nothing bad with that.  But Christ requires our whole life, even the bad parts & the suffering. In submitting our will to Christ, in letting him re-model our lives, our nature, our character, we will save our life. Jesus loves us so much that he accepts us just as we are; but he loves us so much that he won’t leave us as we are.  If we let him, he will work in our lives, in our hearts, in our minds.  We need to hand our will to him in prayer and ask him to show us the areas in our lives that need changing, that need improving, that need converting.  We need to ask him to exam our conscience, to visit our lives and show us how we can follow him a little more closely every day.