Every human person in one way or the other is searching for God. Deep down in the heart of the human person is asked the simple but complex question, “God, who are you and what are you?” Christians focus on Christ as the medium of unraveling the entire reality of the whole existence. He is our point of reference through whom we can make sense of the mystery of life.
Jesus, we are told, is the complete revelation of God. To have seen him is to have seen the Father. Blessed are those who have not seen but believed. We are those who have not seen the historical Jesus but we do believe (at least some of us). Another question is whether Jesus knew who he was from the very beginning. Did he know he was God as a growing child of Mary and Joseph?
He is both God and Man; fully human and fully divine. As a divine person he knew himself perfectly well. But as a human person, his knowledge of himself took the normal process of human self-discovery. He had to work out who he was and what his mission was all about. The key moments of Jesus’ life and ministry served as moments of self-revelation as God and self-discovery as man. Some of these key moments are his Baptism (A voice spoke from the heavens, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased); Miracle at Cana (Mary asks him to be the provident God that he is); his Temptation, Transfiguration, Meeting with the Cananite Woman, Peter’s Confession, etc. These must have been mind puzzling moments for Jesus, who would be asking himself a very big question as a human being – “Who am I”?
The disciples’ call to discipleship was to follow Jesus. Follow him to do what? It is a call and an invitation to discover Jesus. He would ask them the question, who do people say I am? And you, who do you say I am? We too are called and chosen to discover who Jesus is. Sometimes, this is done through discovering who we are and who our neighbour is; to discover our environment and what is behind it all; to discover our humanity and the divinity shared with Christ.
If our mission is to make him known to the whole world, we cannot do this if we do not know who he is. You cannot give that which you do not have. Doing this means getting closer and getting involved. It is not enough to be a nominal Christian. Sharing his life and ministry, being part of his passion, cross and resurrection is our calling.
The gesture seen in the first reading today explains it all. Joshua first and foremost gathered the people together, after which he explained to them historically and theologically where they have been in relationship with God; who and what God has been for them as a people. Having gathered and explained the truth to them, he asked them “to choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” How can you make a choice if you are not well informed of the choice you make? How can you be informed when you refuse or reject the offer and the opportunity to know the Truth? How can you be connected to Jesus the way, the truth and the life if you are not closer to the body of Christ?
In the presence of Joshua, the ‘migrant’ assembly of the people, having found a peaceful settlement from their long journey to freedom, crossing through the dangerous desert, the deadly sea and the hostile borders, made a choice and rededicated their lives to serve the Lord. Not all who are offered the gift of faith in such tough circumstances would accept it or make the choice to abide by it. In the end, it is about choice. Some walked away when Jesus said I am the Bread of Life. Others chose to stay, though not all who chose to stay believed. Jesus made the difference between those who do not believe and the one who would betray him. Betrayal is human, faith-belief is divine. The greatest victories of life is not in wars and subjection of others and territories, nor in fortifying boundaries and borderlands. The greatest victory is fidelity to what we, in conscience, believe to be true. In the journey of faith Jesus invites us to experience in him the true way to eternal life. Would you accept the invitation? If you have honoured the invitation would you stay or walk away? If you believe, let us stand now and profess our faith.