In this week’s Gospel, Jesus asks a simple question of his disciples – “Who do you say I am?”
All of us live with an eye towards what other people say about us and we all carry a desire to be seen positively in the eyes of others. We do not need to look further than social media.
I think most people are guilty of posting the better-looking images of themselves, snapshots of joy, and rarely share the down-to-earth troubles or the mundane tasks that make up most of our daily life. Everyone shares to shape the answer to the question – “Who do you say I am?”
I think the most interesting part about this reading is that even when Peter gives the right answer to Jesus’ question – “You are the Christ” – that he still ends up being wrong.
Peter tells Jesus he is the Christ, correct, but when Jesus explains what that means – to suffer, to die, to rise again – Peter doesn’t like what he hears and tries to stop Jesus’ teaching.
Peter took the first step with his answer but he lacked follow through, he could not comprehend the depth of Jesus’ burden, and he wanted the Christ to be the Christ on his terms.
This week we had R U OK? Day, when we are all encouraged to ask our neighbour if they are okay. Like Peter, the answer to “are you okay?” is only the first step. We all need to follow through with it, try to comprehend the burdens others face and recognise who they are on their terms. And the same applies to our spiritual life – let us all have faith in Jesus and follow through with it, try to comprehend his burden and recognise who he is on his terms.