Daily Reflection for Thursday, August 05, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday's readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Numbers 20:1-13
Responsorial: Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-23
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16: 15)
I am new to Philadelphia. The busy streets and city landscape are foreign to me. The Philadelphian accent, Philly cheesesteaks, and Roosevelt Boulevard are all strange to me. At times it is hard to find solid ground as everything seems so transitional. I have been given the opportunity to direct the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center located in the northeast side of Philadelphia.
The headlines report a grim reality; “300 murders in 196 days: Philadelphia mourns a grim milestone.” Fear tries to capture me, and I am hungry for peace as I allow fear to be my daily companion.
Like many retreat centers across the United States, the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center closed its physical doors at the onset of the pandemic. While Zoom kept the Center accessible to the community, retreat rooms were vacant for over a year. We are gently reopening our doors and as the community returns, they do so with masks and with social distance between them. Yet they come with a desire to reconnect, to gather, and to share with each other ways they can impact their communities in which they live and serve. They come to the Center, a place of refuge and a symbol of peace in the community.
Jesus asks His disciples today, “Who do you say I am?” As I hear this question today, I too struggle to find the words to answer. I desire to answer with, “I know who you are, and I am ready to follow you.” Yet in the midst of life’s transition, coupled with the headlines of violence and senseless destruction of life, I want so much to return to the familiar. Fear takes hold, and its grip clouds my mind as I try to find peace in my response to Jesus’ question today.
Yet as I fumble in my cloudiness, the community returns to the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center and shows me how the Holy Spirit continues her work. Fear starts to lose its hold as I witness the community’s fervor, and it is in them where the answer to Jesus’ question is revealed.
Who do you say Jesus is today?