The gospel opens with a typical classroom scene—the teacher asking the class questions. As a good teacher, Jesus begins with an easy question: “Who do people say that I am?”  A lot of hands shoot up and answers come rapidly—“Elijah or one of the prophets.” Now with the class of disciples in an answering mode, Jesus asks the challenging question: “And who do you say that I am?” Suddenly the class of disciples falls silent. Finally, Peter speaks up, “You are the Christ.”

Now that is the question that Jesus has asked everyone down through the ages. Today he asks us that same question. How do you answer that question? Is he is the son of God and the savior of the world? Is there anything else? Is there also a personal relationship? Is he a guide, a companion, a friend? Jesus waits for your answer.

—Fr. Bernard Streicher, S.J., a long-time faculty member at St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland OH, now lives at the Colombiere Jesuit Community, Clarkston, MI.