Jesus went on with his disciples to the
villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he
asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others,
Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." He
asked them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah." And he
sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of
Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by
the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and
be killed, and after three days rise again. He said
all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside
and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking
at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get
behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not
on divine things but on human things."
Prayer: Lord, reveal to me the awesome mystery of
your person. In you is hidden my beginning; in you
is hidden the mission for my life; in you
is hidden my future happiness. Let me not measure
the future by what I think I can do for
you, but rather by what your power can do
with my generosity. May this prayer convince me of the
necessity of welcoming you daily through prayer, contemplation, and
a sacramental life of grace and conversion.
Lord, grant me an experience of you strong
enough to overcome all spiritual laziness and tepidity.
Has Christ Been for You? -Our prayer must lead
us to respond to Christ’s question, “Who do you say
that I am?” This is the only test, the
only examination question we need to pass in life.
We must reflect and respond to the question from this
perspective: “Who has Christ been for you?” This question
does not so much define Christ, but the one
who answers it. What experiences have we had of him?
What have we been learning about Christ personally, through
experiences that we cannot have known by solemn definitions,
by routine external piety or by what others say?
Christ’s history and our personal history must intertwine to become
a single chapter which we both share.
2. Who Have
You Been for Christ? - If I have little to
say as far as my firsthand knowledge of Jesus,
if my interior experiences have been eclipsed by a mundane
and materialistic spirit, I must take Christ’s question to
the next level: “Who have I been for Christ?”
Who I have been for Christ will be determined largely
by who I have been for him in prayer.
The “inner Christ” is known only by those to whom
it is revealed. It will not happen by a
merely flesh-and-blood approach, nor by just going with the
flow of human events. Peter’s interior life was fertile ground
for the Father. His testimony was not luck, but
was a divine intervention in his soul from which
his faith drew its strength. “For flesh and blood has
not revealed this to you, but my Father in
heaven” (Matthew 16:17). May I seek in a special
way the grace of greater sensitivity to let my interior
life of prayer define me and shape my character.
Can Christ Count on Me? -Poor Peter! In one moment
he is revealing the thoughts of the Father, in
the next, Satan’s. Peter’s living experience of Christ is
the target of Satan’s attempts to break his faith.
Christ’s suffering will be the pledge that the faith of
the apostle will not fail: “I have prayed for
you…” (Luke 22:32). Ultimately Christ’s prayer would prevail: Peter
is reborn on Pentecost, fearlessly accepting and launching the
mission of the Church. A strong interior foundation in Christ
ultimately leads to one last reality check of the
spiritual life: Can Christ build on me because I
am built on him? Christ’s fidelity will uphold me if
I stay in the battle, if I hold firm
and don’t let the reality of my falls keep me
from advancing. Satan cannot break my faith if I
keep fighting, and for this I always have to have
new goals, to begin fresher, better and more generously
Conversation with Christ: Lord, according to
the riches of your glory, grant that I may
be strengthened in my inner being with power through
your Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in my heart
through faith. Being rooted and grounded in love, I
pray that I may have the power to comprehend,
with all the saints, what is the breadth and length
and height and depth, and to know the love
of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that I may
be filled with all the fullness of you. (Cf. Ephesians
Resolution: I will spend some time
before our Lord in the Eucharist today, asking that
he deepen my experience of him.