12. ONLY ONE GOD AND ONLY ONE LORD. The faith confession

The faith confession

1. Jesus´ question to his disciple is still alive twenty centuries later. It is addressed to any man and reaches us: “And you, who do you say I am?”. This question can only be answered from a experience of faith, in which the faith´ experience of the newly born Church becomes present: Only one God and only one Lord

2. We may be all life Catholics and, nevertheless, not be able of distinguishing God from Christ. We may be Jew ( or Muslim) and to have experience of God, but do not know what to do with Christ; in the best case, it would be God´s messenger, another prophet. We may discover that “the dead resurrect” (Lk 20, 37), but do not acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord, the Christ.

3. We may ask Christ a signal, like the Pharisees and Sadducees (Mt 16, 1), representatives of the official religion, but we may be unable to discern the signals of the present time (16, 3), the signals of the kingdom of God that anyone can discern, as we can forecast the weather

4. When Jesus arrived to the region of Cesarea of Philip, he asked his disciples: Who do the people say that the son of man is? They answered: Some that John the Baptist; others, that Elijah; others, that Jeremy or one of the prophets (16, 13 – 14). It is to say, the people perceives that he is a messenger of God, a prophet. Others go through the defile of reincarnation: a prophet who came back to life.

5. Jesus tells them: And you, who do you say I am? Simon Peter answers: You are the Christ, the living son of God. Jesus tells him: “Happy you are Simon, son of Jonas, because this has been revealed to you neither by the flesh nor by the blood, but by my father who is in heaven” (16, 15 – 17). Christian community is founded on Christ´s confession. This does not come from flesh or blood, it does not come from family or lineage. We need it said to us by God.

6. The experience that Jesus is “the Christ, the living son of God” affects the deepest sense of life. That of Peter acquires a new sense: “You are Peter, and upon this stone I shall build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I shall give you the keys of the kingdom of heavens; and whatever you tie on earth it will remain tied in heaven, and what you unleash on earth will remain unleashed in heaven” (16, 18). On Peter’s faith confession the Church is built. There is nothing (hell, evil, death) that could destroy the community, that could prevail over the Church. The faculty to tie and unleash, the power to judge given to Peter, does not mean any arbitrary act. His mission is linked to the word of Christ, that (always in present) builds the Church

7. Then he told his disciples not to say anybody that he was the Christ (16, 20). How can this be understood? What we now must announce to the whole world (Acts 2, 26), Jesus tell them to keep in secret. Evidently, Jesus is in risk. The Messiah, the Christ, God´s Anointed, the hoped king, can be badly understood, in a nationalist sense. And things are hotting up. Jesus´ Gospel does not shelter any nationalism. We must reinterpret which is the signification of Jesus.

8. From then on Jesus began to manifest to his disciples that he ought to go to Jerusalem and to suffer much from elders, the high priests and the scribes; and to be killed and to resurrect the third day (Mt 16, 21). It is unavoidable for Jesus the conflict with the three groups that compose the Sanhedrin, the Jewish parliament: the elders, the high priests and the scribes. But the death, the evil, the hell, have a limited control: “they kill the body, but they can do no more” (Lc 12, 4)

9. Nevertheless, Peter believes that it is still possible the triumphant Christ and he does not want to hear talking about the aching Christ. Even more, archly, he takes the Master apart and corrects him: Far from you, Lord! By no means this will happen to you! Jesus turning, said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." (Mt 16, 22 – 23)

10. Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life  will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what does it benefit a person  if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life?” (16, 24 – 26). Following Jesus, own life is at stake.

11. Judgement is in action: “For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth,  there are some standing here who will not  experience  death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Mt 16, 27 – 28). This is something that is already happening.
12. In these themes we lay out what is the meaning of Christ in our faith experience:
* We question ourselves: For us, who is Jesus Christ? (theme 12)
* The evangels are born writing down Jesus´ paschal experience, that becomes our present faith experience. (theme 13)
* We approach  Jesus´ origins from the present faith experience (theme 14)
* We approach to Christ today, sheltering his word and his action, what he said and made, his teaching and his mission. The matter began in Galilee (theme 15). As supplementary subjects appear: The mission of the twelve and The smallest commandments.
* The paschal mystery marks Jesus´ existence. As Saint Paul says, we announce a crucified Christ (1 Co 1, 23). Jesus lives his passion and his death like an exodus, like a pass from this world to the Father. The time has arrived (theme 16). Supplementary subjects: Put the sword into the scabbard. He is not here. He has resurrected.
* The Pasch, the pass of the Lord, is not what it was. It is necessary to recover it. The Pasch celebrates (in present) the pass of Jesus between us like Lord of history: he passes by saving (theme 17)
* From the faith experience we consider who is Jesus of Nazareth. We contemplate his personality from diverse angles: his identity data, what the non Christian sources say, what the people who follows him perceive, what Jesus says about himself, what the newly born Church confesses (theme 18)
* Jesus delivers us the true face of God (theme 19). “No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (Jn 1, 18)
* To initiate in the prayer, to teach to pray (Lk 11, 1), is part of the evangelization process. We, really, do not know how to pray. We miss words. We can pay with the psalms, like the first communities, in the spirit of Jesus: Our Father (theme 20)
* Listening the word of God and through the gift of the spirit, we can understand Jesus relationship with God. “Nobody knows the son but the father, and nobody knows the father but the son and that to whom the son is willing to reveal” (Mt 11, 27), “through him ones and others have access to the father in the same spirit” (Ef 2, 18) (theme 21)

Hits: 2142