When Jesus asked his Apostles, “Who do you say I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you Simon, Son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” Even though Peter had walked with Jesus for months and listened to his teachings, it wasn’t his human understanding that brought him to the conclusion that Jesus was the Son of God; it was an inspiration from the heavenly Father.
What Does it Take to Believe?
There are many things we are expected to believe that we are unable to understand by way of our human logic, such as the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the Holy Eucharist, and many others. To believe demands more from us than an intellectual understanding. Some of the most intelligent people refuse to believe what God has revealed to us through the Scriptures and the Church. To believe is to have a humble, contrite heart that moves us to fervent, frequent prayer asking for inspiration from the Holy Spirit as well as obedience to what has been declared the truth by the Church that Jesus founded and gave his authority.
After Simon Peter, made his profession of faith, Jesus said to him,
“And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
This is the beginning of our Christian faith that has been built on the authority Jesus gave the Church, the same authority that decided which books were inspired by the Holy Spirit and to be included in the Holy Scriptures.
The Question Comes to Us
Who do we say Jesus is? Of course, we can repeat what Peter said, but it must be deeper than that. What Peter said was Inspired by God. He had a humble, contrite heart and already loved Jesus. His heart was ready to receive divine revelation. He had a relationship with Jesus that inspired his total trust. And yes, like us Peter was not perfect and became famous for his denial of Jesus, which proves more about Jesus than it does about Peter. Overwhelmed by fear Peter denied Jesus in a weak moment but Jesus forgave him immediately just as he forgave those who crucified him, the same way Jesus forgives us when we approach him in confession with a humble, contrite heart.
To know Jesus is a lifelong process of surrendering, of denying ourselves of obstacles to his love and mercy, and embracing the crosses and trials that come our way because we know that in him we will find the fulfillment of our lives and our eternal destiny.
Deacon Tom Fox, C.K.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Commander Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.