This week's gospel (Luke 9:18-24) is a great time to remind ourselves that we need to avoid letting our heads get in the way of our hearts. Peter was the spokesman for the apostles when he answered this question from Jesus, and Peter called Jesus “the Christ of God.” As we read his answer, our mind kicks in and we silently agree with Peter, maybe saying: “Yes, I believe that Jesus is the Messiah.” But our response needs to go much deeper than a rational approval.
Each one of us needs to answer the question: “Who is Jesus for me?”
The answer has to come from our heart and soul, the very core of our being, where Christ dwells within. Is he “just” the Messiah? Do we limit our understanding only to the level of mystery, and the level of a formal creed: he is the Son of God? If someone asked you Jesus Christ is for you, what would you answer? That could be the most important answer in your life, because it will reveal two vital things about you: (1) your personal relationship (or lack of) with Jesus, and (2) your commitment (or lack of) to continue his mission with the gifts he has given to you for that use.
We could even discover a third thing about ourselves, depending on what was disclosed from the first two: (3) we could find out where we are on our journey: are we leading a selfish or excessive life, or have we already wasted it and are now in the pig pen with the prodigal son?
On the other hand, maybe we are on the road home to our Father, or have already reached his welcoming embrace as his lost child who has returned? When you go home- in the quiet of your life- ask yourself that same question; honestly answer it; then decide if you need to make a decision about any need for personal conversion in your life.
KNOW YOUR CATECHISM!
We all need daily conversion! Our Church identifies at least ten items that are embraced by the umbrella called “conversion.” Which item(s) have I been avoiding, and which item(s) need my attention? True conversion finds its source and nourishment in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ himself.
Article 1435 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defence of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one's brethren, brotherly correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.
While article 1436 reminds us that daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. "It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins.