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Who do you say I am?


Who do you say I am? (Mark 8.29) Whenever I read today's Gospel I take Jesus' question rather personally. Who, he asks me each time, am I for you? My replies are invariably similar, and the Gospel is so very familiar, but even so, each time it causes me to pause, even if only for a few moments.

But you, who do you say I am? The pause is longer when I turn the question round: when it's I who ask Jesus who I am for him; who and what I am in his eyes. A longer pause but an invaluable one. Yesterday evening, in the poised quietude of that pause, I found myself travelling back, almost twenty-five years. I was a novice, making the Spiritual Exercises, and, in a near-silent encounter during one time of prayer - I think around the time of making my Election - the only words I said were Jesus, my heart... and Jesus, in reply, uttered only three words to me: Silvana, my heart.

And last night that, he insisted oh-so gently but firmly, is who we are to be for each other, right now...

Who is Jesus for you? Friend... Companion... Beloved... Brother... Guide... Saviour... Lord... Life... Love... Hope...? Then pause for a moment, gaze at him and ask: But you, who do you say I am...?