“Who do the people say that I am?” For some people, Jesus is no more than a historical figure at best. Others say they believe he is the Son of God, but they do not accept of follow all of his teachings. The Christian is set apart not simply because of his beliefs, but moreover because he lives his commitment to Christian faith and virtue and encourages others to do so for the sake of living a happier life.
“Who do you say that I am?” We say who Christ is with our actions more than with our words. As the Apostle John teaches, when we sin, we deny him. When we sincerely try to live without sin and do good to others, we proclaim him with the witness of our lives. In the little things (at work, at home, in traffic) is where we show what the Gospel means to us in practical affairs.
Being a Christian has its consequences. After Peter professes his faith in Christ, Jesus warns him and the other Apostles of the suffering that is to come, he challenges their faith with the promise of the resurrection, and he advises them of the consequences to following him. A Christian must deny himself and take up his cross daily in order to follow Christ.
“Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Jesus presents his would be followers with more than just a paradox. It is a formula of life, a mission statement for the Christian. As a mission statement, it could be phrased: “Because I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, I wholeheartedly trust him and always place his criteria above my own, even when it hurts.” The benefits are a happier life – one that may not exempt trials, difficulty, and suffering – and the promise of eternal salvation. More importantly, when we accept Jesus for who he is, and take up our cross daily, we belong to Christ. Then, nothing can possibly separate us from the love of God.
“Being a Christian has it consequences.” Good observation and I love the way you tied it in with Scripture. Much to think about there. Hope all is well and God Bless, SR
Thank you, SR. Happy and Holy Sunday!
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I read once that one of the apostles told a visionary something to this effect (and I paraphrase): “He who knows how to suffer lives the true life.” Really, suffering is what it is all about. It unlocks so much.
Very true! Here’s something I just came across today that relates:
Suffering is like boiling water. It has a different effect on people, depending on how they choose to react.
If you put carrots in boiling water, they get soft.
That’s like the person who has made comfort and pleasure the goal of life. When suffering comes his way, it drains him of all his zest for living.
If you put an egg in boiling water, it gets hard. You get a hard-boiled egg.
That’s what happens to the arrogant and self-centered. When life gets hard, they also get hard. They clench their fists and lose their smile.They become angry and cynical.
If you put coffee in boiling water, the water releases the coffee’s hidden flavor. It fills the room with a delightful aroma, and makes the water delicious.
The soul that courageously trusts God in the midst of suffering, clinging to Christ’s cross and staying faithful, learns to love like Christ, to be humble, to persevere in what is right.
That person’s life lets off the aroma of mature joy and is filled with the robust flavorof purpose and wisdom.
Wow, that is really beautiful! I like that a lot. Thank you so much for taking the time to share it.
Next time something really bad happens, I will try to remember to be more like coffee (although I do get anxious when I drink it, so can we leave the drinking part out? I will just inhale, like you said. 🙂 )
That was my resolution for the week — be more like coffee.
Sure, just inhale the aromas. Everyone love the smell of fresh hot coffee!
Sounds like a plan to me. 🙂