Who Do You Say I Am? S. Janet Gildea reflects on this is the October issue of E-voc. OctE-voc2014
A retreat for young adult Catholics to deepen their personal relationship with Jesus is aptly titled: “Who Do You Say I Am?” The opening session includes an icebreaker that invites the participants to choose from a selection of descriptive statements about who Jesus is in their life at the moment. The suggestions range from “my best friend” to “someone I hang out with on Sundays” to “somebody I used to know but we’ve lost touch in recent years.”
The Gospel story of Jesus asking his friends to tell him what they were hearing people say about his identity and his burning follow-up question, “But you – who do YOU say I am?” can draw us into deep reflection on our own relationship with Jesus (See Matthew 16:13-17). Who DO I say you are in my life, Jesus? By my actions and attitudes and choices, who do I say that you are to me?
In discernment of your life’s direction, perhaps there is no question that gets so deeply to the heart of the matter. From our baptismal call, confirmed by our profession of faith and refreshed each time we celebrate the Eucharist, we are invited to remember and proclaim who Jesus Christ is for us. At a personal level, in our experience each day we discover Jesus as friend, guide, teacher, lover, companion, brother, redeemer and more.
In a recent livestreamed conversation between scripture scholar Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ and America Magazine editor James Martin, SJ, the question of Jesus’ awareness of his self-identity was addressed at length (Link: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=vU5Ai9EzX8o). Fr. Jim recalled a retreat director who offered a new twist on this “Who do you say I am?” scripture passage. Entering into the scene, imagining Jesus posing the question to you and giving your own heartfelt response, would you dare to ask the same question of him? “Jesus, who do you say I am?”
How might this meditation bring a sense of clarity to your discernment process?