Who do you say that I am?

I just read a recent address of Pope Francis to a group of Jesuit seminarians, but one thing he said I can’t get out of my head. It’s from a scripture passage we are familiar with; when Jesus asks his disciples (Matthew 16:15), “but who do you say that I am?” I’ve always read that passage personally with an emphasis on my response to who Jesus is in my life, but Pope Francis turns it for disciples and begs us to listen to what Jesus names us henceforth.

“You are the Christ” – “You are Peter” (Cf. Matthew 16:16.18): as for Simon Peter and the first disciples, the whole vocational journey hinges on a dialogue of love, of friendship in which, while we recognize in Jesus the Messiah, the Lord of our life, he gives us the “new” name, which encloses our vocation, indicates our mission, which the Father has always known and protected. The discovery of our new name, the word that best describes us, the most authentic, passes through our capacity to give little by little a name to the different experiences that animate our humanity. To call things by their name is the first step towards knowledge of oneself and, hence, to know the will of God for our life.

So I ask  Jesus, the Lord, the Christ, the Messiah, Son of the Living God, “who do YOU say that I am?” When I declare the LORD, what new name does he give to me and how does the discovery of that name guide my life’s vocation?  Jesus, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God, now I look to Jesus and ask, “Lord, who am I? Who do you say that I am?” He answers and says, “Blessed are you, Alisa, my daughter. And I tell you, you are FAITH and on this faith I will build my Church…”

Faith He called me. He called me Faith. What will he build on my little faith? What does he want me to do in faith, with my weaknesses and flaws, brokenness and sin? But He called me FAITH meaning that He has given me the capacity to trust him for what I don’t have. I can already see the fruits of my new name and wonder how else he wants to build his Church through my little faith.

It’s at once frightening and invigorating!!  Today and every day I’ll ask Jesus how he wants me to build his church on my little faith.

In each aspect of my life as a wife, mother, homemaker, manager and minister, He calls me to dream big and wonder where I can go beyond my fears and failures and simply have and be FAITH.


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