Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who Am I?

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.’” Matthew 16: 15-17

People spend a lot of time trying to find themselves or figure out who they are, don’t they? We spend years and sometimes thousands of dollars in this search. We try to find our identity in our past, where we came from, our family (whether good or bad), the clothes we wear, the music we listen to, the teams we belong to or root for, the people we hang around with or the relationships we are in. And yet for the time and energy spent in this pursuit, we seem to find ourselves more and more lost. Why is this?

The only way we can truly ever find ourselves is to throw ourselves, immerse ourselves—lose ourselves—in the mystery of the mercy and love of Christ and His Sacred Heart. Like Sts. Peter and Paul, our full identity and purpose will be found when we truly encounter Christ and begin to see Him for who He is. Only then can we begin to understand who we are. Before St. Peter’s confession, he was Simon. After he was the rock that Christ built His church on. Before St. Paul was knocked off his horse on the way to Damascus, he was Saul. Afterwards he became the most prolific and zealous missionary the Church has ever seen; all because they lost themselves in Christ.

Perhaps we are tempted to think that God could not use us in a similar fashion because we are too weak or afraid or sinful. But look at these two giants of the Faith. St. Peter began as a lowly, uneducated fisherman, quick to judge and filled at times with paralyzing fear. And yet in Christ he became the first Pope. St. Paul began as an elite, educated man filled with self-righteousness and anger who became the lowest of the low to serve others in his evangelization and preaching efforts. If God could use them, He can use you and me.

And why do we need to lose ourselves in the mystery of Christ’s mercy and love? So we can selfishly bask in the glow of His sight and pull ourselves away from the world? No, so that in losing ourselves in Him, we can find the strength and the passion to lead others to this great mystery as well. Let us this day and always, find the courage to leap into the immensity of God so that our lives will always point others to Him like Sts. Peter and Paul.

Dear Jesus, I want to know who You are so that I can know who I am. Help me to immerse myself in Your Sacred Heart. Amen.

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