Matthew 16: 13-23
Lord Jesus, I believe you want me to have faith in you, faith that hearkens to your words without any second guessing. I hope in your words, not relying solely on my own strength or reasoning. I love you. You continue to astonish me by showing me that your ways are not my ways.
Lord, may I know you personally through faith and a generous imitation of you.
1. Partial Knowledge:
We acquire knowledge through experience. The people in the Gospel attempted to know Jesus by identifying him with others. Some said he was John the Baptist, who preached repentance and conversion like the Lord. Some compared him to Jeremiah, whose prophecies involved a new covenant that God would make with the house of Israel, one in which he would place his law within them, and "write it upon their hearts." "I will be their God," he said, "and they shall be my people." (see Jeremiah 31:33). Some heard of Jesus' extraordinary powers, and mistook him for Elijah, who was carried away in a chariot of fire. All of these figures match somehow with Jesus. But they don't reveal his full mystery. Am I content with a partial knowledge of Our Lord, or do I ardently seek to know him inside and out?
2. A Mere Shadow:
Jesus does resemble the prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament. He resembles them, but also supersedes them. None of these holy men exhaust the dimensions of Christ's person. They are rays, he is the sun. The apostles know the Lord is more than Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah or even John. "Who do you say that I am?" "You are the Christ, the Son of God." How wonderful it is to know by faith that Jesus is truly the Son of God. Do I appreciate this wondrous gift of knowing my God, Creator and Redeemer through the person of Jesus Christ? I can rest in him and find strength, hope and joy in him. Do I rest in him?
3. It Finally Dawned on Him and he Saw the Light:
"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." The apostles had first compared Jesus to all of the holy ones of Israel's past, but soon saw that he surpassed them all. His virtue, goodness and power rose higher and higher, until he shattered the paradigms of measurement and comparison. He was not only quantitatively but qualitatively, much, much more. The heavenly Father shed his light, and they believed at last. I need to live in the light that has shone so brightly and continues to shine. Christ tells us that he is the light of the world. He is the way, the truth and the life. Do I treasure my faith in Jesus Christ, guard it and strive to make it grow and bear much fruit?
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, in my reading of the gospels I come to admire you
exceedingly, but only grace can allow me to believe.
Only grace can strengthen my faith and allow me
to understand and see things the way you do.
Give me the gift of faith, so I might rise above
those limits and come to know you as my supreme good.
Today I will pray for the gift of faith for those who don't believe.
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