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. Oct 2018 .
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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

*WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?* (Is 50:5-9; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35).
By REV. FR. PAUL ANIGBORO

We are faced with a challenge of discovering who Jesus really is to us. Knowing someone is essential to believing the person. We must however be careful that we know the person in His entirety and not just a part. Knowing someone partly can be as a result of misguided judgement or pragmatic interest. 
 
The gospel (Mark 8: 27-35) talks about the identity of Jesus and the conditions for discipleship. When he asked 'who do people say I am?' The disciples gave different opinions of what they have heard. Then the question became more direct, 'who do you say I am?' Peter spoke up and expressed a part of the truth about who Jesus really his. When Jesus started talking about his death, Peter couldn't believe how a powerful and miracle working person like Jesus will die, thus, he had to reject it but Jesus immediately rebuked him, saying, 'get behind me Satan.'
 
Who is Jesus to you? A proper answer to this question can only come from our daily faith experience. The first reading and the second will serve as a guide in being able to have a real knowledge about who Jesus really is. The story of the suffering servant in the book of Isaiah (Is. 50:5-9) should be a challenge to we Christians. Despite the pains and sufferings, he had an unwavering hope that he shall be vindicated. Mordern day Christianity is about picking and choosing. Many walk with Jesus only when it is good but when things becomes bad, they turn away. Many now choose a crossless Christianity.
 
A true knowledge of Jesus can only come when we accept the whole of Jesus. Yes! Jesus worked miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead. The same Jesus also suffered on the cross and died for our sins. What gave us redemption and salvation is not the miracles he performed while on earth, rather, what gave us salvation was is death on the cross and his resurrection. So, we can't choose to accept only the miracle working Jesus and abandon the suffering Jesus. 
 
St. James in the 2nd reading tells us that when we claim to know and have faith in Jesus, it must be seen in our works. The proof that we truly do have faith is evidenced in the good works that we do. Faith in Jesus means we love him so much that we love all those whom he loves, which is everyone regardless of whether they deserve it or not. Faith in Jesus means accepting what comes our way, taking up our cross and following him daily. Accepting our daily struggle and carrying our crosses are the reall works that shows we have faith.
 
Finally, to follow Jesus, he gave us condition for discipleship. *Firstly, to deny ourselves* means to evict evil thoughts, selfish desires and enthroning God in our hearts. *Secondly, we must take up our cross.* This means gracefully accepting that suffering without bitterness, as a part of our lives. Second, it means that we may not, in our suffering, pass on any bitterness to those around us. Third, it means that we must accept some other deaths before our physical death, that we are invited to let some parts of ourselves. die. *Thirdly, we must follow Jesus.* This means that, as followers of Christ, we should live our lives according to the word of God, by obeying what is commanded by Jesus.
 
Lord, help me to follow you whole and entire. Give me the grace to accept whatever comes my way as your will for me. Amen.
 
Good morning and do have a restful Sunday. God loves you.
 
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