Have you heard this one? Moses & Jesus were out golfing. They came to a par three, 200 yard fairway that stretched over a water hazard. Jesus addresses the ball. Moses asks, “What club are you using?” “An eight iron” answers Jesus. “Not enough club,” says Moses. “But Tiger Woods uses an eight iron” says Jesus. Jesus tees off but does not carry the water. “I’ll get it,” says Moses. He goes down to the lake, raises his arms, & the water parts. He walks out on dry land to retrieve the ball. Jesus addresses the ball again. “What club are you using?” asks Moses. “An eight iron,” says Jesus. “Not enough club,” says Moses. “But Tiger Woods uses an eight iron,” says Jesus. Jesus tees off. Again the ball fails to carry the lake. “I’ll get it,” says Jesus. He goes to the water’s edge, steps out onto the lake, & walks across the water to retrieve the ball. Back at the tee, another golfer has approached & sees Jesus walking on the water. “Who does that guy think he is, Jesus Christ?” “Oh, that’s Jesus Christ, alright,” says Moses, “but he thinks he’s Tiger Woods.”!

Perhaps during our journey in life, we have found ourselves imitating someone who is good at what we are trying to learn & embrace. As “practicing” Christians, there is no one better to look directly to than Jesus, the way, the truth, & the life. Today’s Gospel gives us pause to answer the same question Jesus asked Peter: Who do you say that I am?

What is important for us to consider is that Jesus was first & foremost consciously participating in divine life & in many ways that participation expressed itself in human living. He sees with spiritual eyes & has come to know more clearly his identity & his mission. Peter gets the answer right, yet it is still being birthed in him. While Peter may have understood the identity & mission of Jesus, he more than likely did not realize to its fullest extent that this too was being handed on to him as his own identity and mission. The heavenly Father of Jesus who dwells within Peter has allowed Peter to recognize & acknowledge the identity & mission of Jesus.

The living reality for all of us remains – God is in every moment if we pay attention. In fact, there may be no more significant question in all of life than the one Jesus asks of Peter. Many of us have had times of “knowing within´- even if we did not fully understand or have the ability to articulate. This is pure gift. We are reminded that to those who have been given much – much is expected. Like Peter, we do not know fully – but our connectedness & relationship with God is what gets us to “know”. Jesus – Peter – and maybe you and I – have “heard” the interior word of God. It is not about an intellectual assent but rather a deep “heart” knowing. It is then our task to translate that consciousness and integrate our response into daily ways of being. We are invited each day to answer the question “Who do you say I am?” Our response has the potential to change our own lives, the lives of our families, neighborhoods, and ultimately our world.

Who do you say Jesus is?
What difference does this make in how you live each day?
What difference might it make if you embraced more fully the identity & mission of Christ?

-Carol Pisani