News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
“Who do you say I am?”
Last year, my highly visible and rewarding professional life ended, abruptly. Since then, I have struggled to find meaning and purpose without the titles or authority or colleagues that my work presented. I believed I was doing the work God had set before me, and yet, where was it now? This season of Lent has challenged me to think not about who I think Jesus is, but who do I think I am. Do I believe that my being is defined by the work I do, the family I raise, the success I’ve achieved, or do I believe that my being is defined by who I follow? The dialogue between Peter and Jesus reminds me that to be a disciple of Jesus, doesn’t mean that I will achieve and accumulate more and more, but that I will follow Jesus, bearing my pride, as my cross (Mark 8:34).
James Martin, a Jesuit, writes about Peter:
“Sometimes I wonder if Jesus chose Peter not despite his imperfections, but because of them. It also enabled him to appreciate the love that Jesus had for him, as well as to celebrate the fact that God can work through anyone, no matter how human. And that’s not such a bad message to carry to the ends of the earth.”
(My Life with the Saints, pg. 250)
I struggled with that sense of purpose when I retired and was in a state of dis-equilibrium for quite a while. It was a rich time for me as I really had to rely on the Lord to lead me, and to practice patience.