Less God?

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

It is the question of the ages, Who do you say that I am? This question, to the Apostles, should not have been a surprise. It is the same question God presented to Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Judges, kings, and prophets. In each instance, Who do you say that I am?

Peter answers in the same way the rest would answer. He answers in the same way the faithful have always answered. In faith (which is the rock), he clearly stated that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. You are God, my God.

As with the rest of the Apostles, and as was done before them by the prophets, judges, kings, and every person on earth, we quickly go from proclamation to a failure to follow through. We somehow lose touch with the fact that we just proclaimed God to be our God, and suddenly consider Him ‘less God.’

It happened to Peter right after this bold proclamation, He suddenly saw Jesus as ‘less God.’ He told Jesus He believed Him to be God, then told Him – You’re wrong.

This is our predicament as Christians. We are really asked to do very few things. Proclaim salvation in Jesus. Accept Him in faith, live the gospel message by doing love, and give God the worship. All Church laws and dogmas come down to that. We worship Jesus, who is God, and do what He said, for that is the perfection of truth; God’s wisdom laid out before us. All we have to do is take up and do what God said, but we don’t.

When we proclaim the creed, we will attest to the fact that Jesus is true God and true man. He is not half-and-half, more of one, less of the other. He is the fullness and completeness of both. So, His words and example are the way to live. His is the way we are to follow. Perfect instruction.

Consider the question of faith; our desire to cling to and fully believe: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Let us ask ourselves whether our lives speak the truth of our belief. Is Jesus God for me, or is He ‘less God?’

Much seems to get in the way. What does for us? Desires, politics, personalities, angers, having it our way, hypocrisy, thinking we are right, property over people, nation over God, the need to state our opinion? It is the question of the ages. If He is nothing less than God, let us put all that aside and live like He really is our God.

Reflection for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014

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A life full of
riches.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! … For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

God’s judgments testify to His righteousness, as well as to His wisdom. God knows how to catch those who oppose him in their own snares by allowing them to fall, not by His doing, but by their own free will and choices that oppose Him. In contrast with His judgments, His ways are the way of grace that lead to eternal life for those who chose Him. How wonderful and wise are His judgments and ways! They make us rich.

Looking back at history and even our lives we can truly marvel at His wisdom. Consider how He: Has mercy on the disobedient; Gathers us out of the many peoples, Jews and Gentiles, into a people who are His own; Uses us to convert others; and Preserves the world despite malice and evil until we have built His kingdom through the grace He gives us.

His wisdom is entirely immeasurable and unfathomable; His judgments and ways are inscrutable and incomprehensible. So lies the emphasis: This powerful and incomprehensible God joins Himself to humanity and sacrificed Himself all so we might be drawn up to be like Him; so that we may enter into glory after glory. So that by the freedom He allows we may chose for Him and bring others to Him.

God wants the salvation of all people, has revealed Himself to us, has shown us the way we should go, has called upon us to proclaim Him and invite others to know Him, and has left us the tremendous promise of eternal life and glory even though we lack His perfection and fall at times.

Paul confirms that the judgments and ways of God are inscrutable and untraceable with three questions, which he borrows from Isaiah and Job: For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? Or who has given the Lord anything that he may be repaid?

Paul reminds us that everything that is and will be has its beginning in God, is carried out by God, and serves God’s purposes. God needs nothing and we can offer Him nothing – excepting this: our faith, like Peter, our declaration that He is our God.

God asks us to come into relationship with Him and each other. He shows us the way and gives us the words that can make all our lives rich and complete.

To him be glory forever! Paul makes this great exclamation, calling on us to give glory to God for His judgments and His ways; for the riches He gives to all who by faith in Him build His kingdom and join together in His life.