Keeping Our Eyes On Jesus

In our gospel this weekend, Jesus asks his disciples an important question: “But who do YOU say that I am?” It is to this question that Peter steps forward in faith and answers, “You are the Christ.” This is an important question for each of us to answer, as we struggle with our own doubts and fears in the face of the current crisis.

Jesus is the reason we gather each Sunday as a community—only Jesus! As much as I would love to stay at St. Peter’s, I know that someday I will be re-assigned, and another deacon will replace me. Father Steven will minister at St. Peter’s, for a limited time as well. We serve at the pleasure of Archbishop Hebda, who is responsible for the spiritual needs of the entire archdiocese. My point is that it is not Father Steven or Deacon Tim who we come to meet at every Mass—it is Jesus! Jesus is the one who forgives our sins and heals us in the Sacrament of Confession. It is Jesus who comes to the innocent child, who receives his or her First Holy Communion. It is Jesus that we meet in prayer and encounter in the scriptures. It is Jesus who has shepherded the St. Peter’s community through good and bad times for over 178 years. Pastors and servant leaders have come and gone, but it is Jesus who has remained.   Only Jesus.

Jesus is asking each of us to answer this important question in our time, right here and right now. We know from past and current experience that leaders will sometimes disappoint us. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus and recognize that human beings will fail us, but Jesus will never fail us!

The Church was born in the upper room where those frightened disciples stood behind locked doors, for fear of the Jews. The Holy Spirit filled the room and filled each of their hearts. Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would be with them always. This enabled them to move past their fear and doubt and set about doing the work of building the Kingdom.

We have spoken much about how the Holy Spirit works in our lives and about our call to be disciples. It is the Holy Spirit who is constantly at work in our hearts. It is the same Spirit who hovered over the disciples at Pentecost and who will inspire each of us, as we go through these next weeks, months and years as Catholic disciples. The head of the Church is Christ, who stands over the Church, watching over it and guiding it. Jesus promised to be with us, until the end of time. Jesus isn’t going anywhere, and neither should we! Let us place our trust in the God who loves us beyond our wildest imagining. Let us allow the Spirit to work in our hearts and guide us in these difficult days. And let’s remember that it is not the priest or deacon who presides in our assembly that deserves our praise; it is the God who called that man to serve whom we worship and adore. Should anyone ask us to defend our Catholic faith in Jesus Christ, let’s be prepared to tell them who Jesus is and what He has done in our lives!

Be at peace. . . God is in control.

In Christ who heals,
Deacon Tim

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