This week, our Gospel reading brings us the story of Jesus' piercing question: "Who do you say I am?" It is the question everyone must deal with in their lives, whether the answer is "Lord," "nice guy," or "I don't care." Peter's example shows the humility and faithfulness required of a transformed follower of Christ: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Saying this demands a response. If we believe this is who Jesus is, we are now faced with the reality of living in that truth. If Jesus is Lord, we are committing to do what he says, go where he leads, and follow his example (which, by the way, led to death on a cross). But Jesus doesn't leave us to our own devices. The very next thing he says is "I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." We acknowledge Jesus as Lord, and then we wait on his power and presence to enable us to carry out his mission.
One (newer) song we'll be singing on this theme is a song we sang during Eastertide called "Christ is Risen." It highlights the power of the risen Christ to cause his Church to "stand in the light" and "rise up from the grave."
This Sunday we will be focusing our time of prayer on the Archbishop's call to intercede on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria. Our offertory this week is a new song, "Open Up," which uses the words of the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, particularly poignant in this time: "Make me an instrument of Your peace, where this is hatred let me sow love":
Looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday!