Who is Jesus to me?

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And Jesus asked his disciples, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’” He wanted his disciples to acknowledge what other people  were saying. So they gave him the four most popular answers: “Some say John the Baptist” (that was Herod’s  answer);  “others say  Elijah” (that  was very popular because the Jews expected Elijah to return);  “and still  others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets”  (that is, he was a spokesman for God).

Then Jesus said to his disciples; “But who do you say that I am?” After all, they had followed him and had known him from the  beginning. They had watched as he cured the blind, the deaf and lame; had been witness when he fed 5,000  people with a couple of fish and a few barley loaves.  Surely they must know who he was.  It was Peter who nailed it  when he replied “You are the Christ of God.” Peter was saying, “I know who you are. You are the Messiah sent to save us; you are the Son of God from heaven.”  But there is one person who knew Jesus with an even greater clarity; a person who saw Jesus in every aspect of life and expressed it in  a beautiful litany.

In June of 1983 Mother Teresa was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack while visiting Pope John Paul II in Rome.  As her strength  returned, she asked for pen and paper to write the fruit of her sickbed meditations.  On June 19th , 1983 she penned the following:

Who is Jesus to me?  

Jesus is the Word made Flesh; Jesus is the Bread of Life;
Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the Cross.
Jesus is the Sacrifice offered at the Holy Mass for the sins of the world and mine;
Jesus is the Word – to be spoken.
Jesus is the Truth – to be told;
Jesus is the Way – to be walked;
Jesus is the Light – to be lit;
Jesus is the Life – to be lived.
Jesus is the Joy – to be shared;
Jesus is the Sacrifice – to be offered;
Jesus is the Peace – to be given.
Jesus is the Bread of Life – to be eaten;
Jesus is the Hungry – to be fed;
Jesus is the Thirsty – to be satiated.
Jesus is the Naked – to be clothed;
Jesus is the Homeless – to be taken in;
Jesus is the Sick – to be healed.
Jesus is the Lonely – to be loved;
Jesus is the Unwanted – to be wanted;
Jesus is the Leper – to wash his wounds.
Jesus is the Beggar – to give him a smile.
Jesus is the Drunkard – to listen to him;
Jesus is the Retarded – to protect him.
Jesus is the Little One – to embrace him;
Jesus is the Blind – to lead him;
Jesus is the Dumb – to speak for him.
Jesus is the Crippled – to walk with him;
Jesus is the Drug Addict – to befriend him;
Jesus is the Prostitute – to remove  from danger and befriend;
Jesus is the Prisoner – to be visited; Jesus is the Old – to be served.

To me — Jesus is my God; Jesus is my Spouse; Jesus is my Life; Jesus is my only Love, Jesus is my All in All; Jesus is my Everything….. When I read today’s gospel, I realized that nothing I could write would come close to this beautiful portrayal of who  Jesus really is.  I pray that we will all take this litany to heart and live it as Mother Teresa did; that we will see Jesus in  others and live life in a manner that will show others who Jesus is……

Sylvia Bates