In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus asks his disciples, ‘who do you say I am?’ If we were asked this question what would our honest answer be? Is Jesus the Lord of our lives? Is Jesus an extra-curricular activity that fits in with everything else we do? Is Jesus someone who has little or no relevance to our lives?
The question that Jesus gives at the beginning of this Gospel is closely connected to the call to discipleship that takes place at the end of it. The true disciple is one who is willing to take up their cross daily to follow Jesus. If Jesus is the Lord of our lives that challenge becomes not only manageable but something that we can joyfully embrace. If Jesus simply enjoys the same place with everything else that we do this challenge will present times of great struggle. If Jesus has very little relevance to our lives, then the challenge will become unbearable because the whole idea of carrying one’s burdens each day as being a part of life will not make any sense. A sure sign that Jesus has slipped into this last category in our lives is when we are faced with adversity and we start thinking, “I can’t face this.”
Jesus tells us, ’those who lose their life for his sake and for the sake of the Gospel will save it.’ To answer this call and make Jesus the Lord of our lives means having to let go of control and certainty. It means not only saying yes to the things we know where we are strong but also saying yes to doing things in areas where we know we are weak. It means letting go of a certain result and are content to have the result taken out of our hands. Can we take this step?
In the Gospel we heard what Peter’s initial reaction was when security and certainty were taken away. He expressed a desire to preserve what they had. Is this our reaction too when security and certainty is taken away? What is it that we need to let go of preserving in to make Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives?