Our sense of identity develops over time. Our self-knowledge is often molded by the insights we receive from others until we reach a level of maturity where we own or become comfortable with who we are. With a healthy amount of self-possession, we can live from a certainty of purpose.
A line from the Desiderata, a poem by Max Ehrmann, declares to each of us that we are a child of the universe, no less than the moon and the stars, you have a right to be here. What a wonderful affirmation to hear and to receive. Belief in our individual worth is indeed a necessity for balanced living. What can be life altering is expanding this understanding of intrinsic human value to each and every person in the world!
In the Gospel today, Jesus is asking others about His identity. I do not think it was because He was unsure of Himself. Rather, I think He was hoping to help His disciples grow in understanding of what it means to be the Christ. The lesson of hardship and suffering was not quite grasped by Peter and the others. Even today, we the modern disciples of Jesus often question why things are so hard when our God is so good.
Jesus was surely self-possessed and lived from a certainty of purpose. He came to do the Father’s will, not His own. We are blessed to have Him as an example of a courageous, faith-filled life.
-Sister Lori High
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur . 241 Lafayette Avenue . Buffalo, New York 14213 . (716) 884-8221