By Fr. Andrew Kelly
The community of believers is anchored on the “rock” of Peter’s faith as proclaimed in Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 16:13-20): “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
But would anyone recognize the 2011 community as the manifestation of the “rock” Jesus Christ? Jesus’ question is about identity: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Who do people say the community is?
Internally the community asks itself: “Are we living and being converted by the “rock” of Jesus’ word, body and blood?
Externally, the community asks outsiders what Jesus asked the disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” In other words: “Who do people say the community is?”
From what is experienced from the community’s behavior, would others be prepared to declare Peter’s faith? “Yes, this community reveals God’s unlimited grace and love for all human beings. Yes, this community really believes and lives the rock of Peter’s faith: ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’”
If not, the community must begin again the reflection about itself based upon Jesus’ question; “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The answer defines who the community is.
(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)