"We gather in faith..."

Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis J. Christian

Reflections

Several weeks ago in the Sunday Gospel, Jesus asked the

Apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” In response to

this question, St. Peter gave his great testimony of faith,

“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” The

Lord of course, asks this question to every person. We

have to make a decision in regard to Him. We have to

decide whether we are going to allow him to be the Lord

of our lives, our choices, our decisions or not. There have

always been some people who identify Jesus as only a

good man, or a great teacher, or a prophet, but who cannot

accept Him as divine, as the second person of the Trinity

and , as a result, do not make him Lord of their lives. In

this regard, C.S. Lewis made an interesting and telling

analysis. He said that when you carefully consider what

Christ said about himself, there are only three

possibilities. First, he is an evil person who is lying and

trying to mislead us. He knows he is not divine and is

trying to lead us astray. He is thus to be denounced and

dismissed. Secondly, he is seriously deranged and

delusional. He is in modern parlance a “nut” and at best

is to be pitied and then ignored. Or, thirdly, He is exactly

who He claims to be, that is, the Christ, the Messiah, the

divine son of the Father who is, as a result, to be

followed, worshipped and adored. Most of us have arrived

at this third conclusion and try to live accordingly. There

are at least two elemental aspects of our lives as believers.

First that we are a thankful people, that our basic stance

toward life is one of gratefulness for all that God gives to

us in and through Christ. We are created and redeemed in

Him as a pure gift of God for which we must constantly

say “Thank you”. Secondly, that we strive to be good to

others because God has first been good to us. As Jesus

teaches us “What you have received as a gift, give as a

gift.” Our lives would certainly be quite different if we

answered Christ’s question differently.