Sermon: Ordinary 12, Year C – Who do YOU say that I am?

Text: Luke 9:18-14

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

“Who do you say I am?”

Is one of the crucial questions… Not just of that age, but of today.

“Who do you say I am?”

Messiah? Son of God? Teacher? Good man? Charlatan? Blasphemer? Threat?

“Who do you say I am?”

…this is not a question for theologians, for priests, for the great and the good. This is a question aimed at you.

And you. And you. To each and everyone of us, personally, we are called to address this crucial question.

“Who do you say I am?”

Jesus will not accept agnosticism. He confronts you with the reality of his presence in your midst. He challenges you with a radical reworking of all that you have previously accepted as the norm, for the Gospel is challenging, transformative, unconventional.

“Who do you say I am?”

You are called to respond, and there is no time for cleverness or theological reflection; for the call to follow him, to be like him, to embrace him and through him to embrace the divine is all wrapped up in this simple, direct and ultimately challenging statement.

“Who do you say I am?”

It’s never going to be an easy ride: there will be suffering, there will be hardship, there will be normal slices of everyday life, with all its ups and downs. Jesus didn’t promise that if you embraced him, all of your problems would be over. But he did promise that he would share them, share the burden of them with you.

You still have a cross to bear, just as He had a cross to bear on his journey towards Calvary. There is no such thing as a quick fix in life: no one single prayer will work like a magic wand: your salvation journey is one that will take a lifetime.

“Who do you say I am?”

If Jesus was not who Peter said he was, would that burden have been worth it? Would Good Friday not have been a waste? The power of the Resurrection is that it is the vindication of all that has been suspected about Jesus: that he truly is He who had been long hoped for. The power of the Resurrection not only transforms the lives of the Disciples, but continues to transform us: to challenge us, to enervate us in our daily burdensome, weary journeys of life.

“Who do you say I am?”

Peter could only answer for himself. Just as you can only answer for yourself. Nothing I can say or do here can really influence you as you consider your relationship with Him. It is up to you.

“Who do you say I am?”

Your response is based upon your relationship with Christ.

“Who do you say I am?”

It is a relationship that he wants to have with you. It is not based upon tradition, habit, fear or bullying. Your call. Your choice.

“Who do you say I am?”

You are the Christ of God….

…Nothing more need be said.

You are the Christ of God.

Amen.