Readings for Friday of Proper 27 Year 1
“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” (Matthew 16:15)
So who do I say Jesus is? Verbally, I say Jesus is my Savior. I say he is the Son of God. I say he is the Messiah. I say he is God Incarnate. I say he is my salvation. And, I say he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. But can I say he is my teacher?
In all but the last of the ways above that I proclaim who Jesus is, it is about the nature of Jesus that pretty much excludes me except for his relationship “around” me. Being my teacher however, requires me to learn something new and godly and behave or act in a different way, a better way. Saying Jesus is my teacher is not done with words, it is done through how my life is lived. As St Francis is reported to have said, go and preach the Gospel and when necessary, use words. This suggests making the Gospel manifest through works of kindness and compassion. Well, following the instructions of Rabbi (Teacher) Jesus also means behaving in the ways he is teaching me.
I say who Jesus is every time I help someone in need, every time I feed the homeless, every time I stop and listen to someone tell me their sad predicament (even if I can’t help resolve it). All of these, and more, are what we are called to do in following the instructions of Rabbi Jesus. It’s not so much what we say, it’s what we do. Action truly does speak louder than words. We just don’t let action be our main voice. Or as Mark Twain said, “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” We need to speak with our actions more often. So, who do you say that Jesus is, and how do you say it, and how often?
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John+