Friday, February 22, 2013

First Friday of Lent: “But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’.”(Matthew 16: 15-16)

Going, being aware, returning, and asking are the verbs that mark this first week of Lent. Today’s Gospel tests the authenticity of the journey of conversion we have so far undertaken. It is the question to which every disciple of the Lord must respond in regard to their experience of Jesus. “But who do you say that I am? The response is easy and immediate. It is a pity that the correct sounds and words do not always correspond to life.

Peter will accompany us from this week until Easter, interpreting many of our feelings and attitudes. Enthusiasm and disappointment, courage and hypocrisy, fidelity and betrayal are mixed in with each other in the drama of every day life. They design the vacillating itinerary of the disciples who try and who must never stop trying.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to support me on this journey of prayer, of grace, and help me to recognize the beauty of life, of the unexpected, of the gratuitous, all that awes me and makes me rejoice. They orient me to put Jesus at the center, the authentic person of Jesus and not a false representation.

Today, Lord, I will look for the answer to Your question within myself. Who do I say that You are? I would like to respond that You are the Lord of my life, that I love You with an undivided heart, that I see Your face in all my sisters and brothers…Lord, forgive my infidelity, my false enthusiasm, my untruthful words. Never abandon me. Help me to recognize You where You manifest Yourself.

The Voice of Pope Paul VI, from his Discourse of March 14, 1965

- Living Scripture