Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus asks each one of us the same question that he asked Peter in today’s Gospel: “Who do you say that I am?” And each one must give a personal response. Is he a good man who shook up the establishment? A political liberator? A social justice reformer? Or is he the Savior who sends out a RSVP to follow him – even to the Cross – and there to find happiness? Our popular culture confuses pleasure with happiness to the detriment of many, especially the young. Pray for them.

Where do we find happiness? It is in the pursuit of the purpose for which we were created, namely to love and serve God and our neighbor. A successful life, a happy life is one that strives to attain that purpose. We learn about people from the media, facebook, twitter, who seek after pleasure and who are unhappy, and we probably have met others who sacrifice pleasure for duty, or who have been deprived of the pleasures we may enjoy, and who are happy.

Power, money, sex, honor, reputation, friendships, health, being ripped (adjustable bedizenment for ladies) – all are good, but only in so far as they help me answer Christ’s question in today’s Gospel; only in so far as they are used as means to attain the end for which I am created, which ultimately, is perfect happiness in the life to come with him who, each day, poses the question to me that he asked Peter and the apostles in our Gospel. And he expects my answer in action, not only in words.

August 24th, 2014