We really need to know who Christ is. That’s the question that Christ asked his disciples and should be rightly answered by us, the way Peter answered it. “Who do people say that I am?” This is very important for the simple reason that we are supposed to be “another Christ,” if not “Christ himself.” We are meant for nothing less than that.
As we all know, most of his disciples only had some general and vague idea of who Christ really is. “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” It was Peter who hit it bull’s eye. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
We have to be clear about this point. We are meant to assume the identity of Christ. And that is not a gratuitous, baseless assertion, much less, a fiction or a fantasy. It is founded on a fundamental truth of our faith that we have been created by God in his own image and likeness. We are meant to be conformed to Christ who as the Son of God is the perfect image God has of his own self.
Since we have been made in the image and likeness of God, we have to understand that we have been patterned after Christ, the Son of God who became man to recover us from our state of alienation from God due to our sin.
So we have been patterned after Christ, and if Christ is truly alive and is actively intervening in our life lives, we should ask ourselves if we manage to see him and deal with him today and always. We know all too well that very often we are good in words only, but not in deeds, in theory but not in practice. We need to close the gap.
Let’s remember that Christ himself said: “I am always with you until the end of time.” (Mt 28,20) If we have faith, these words should never be considered as mere bluff. They are true and operative. We have to learn to conform ourselves to that reality and to behave accordingly.
Christ should not just be a Christ of faith or a Christ of history, as some theologians have described him. The Christ of faith and the Christ of history is one and the same person, and he continues not only to be with us but also to work with us, showing us the way how to live, how to work, how to decide, how to choose, etc.
We need to be clear about who we really are. Before we identify ourselves by the name we bear, or by the many other data that describe our identity, like our gender, our nationality and legal status, our place and date of birth, our residence, etc., we have to know that we are first of all creatures of God, raised to be his image and likeness, children of his, and in spite of our defects and mistakes, redeemed and continually loved by him.
This is our core identity on which all the other specifications of our person are based and through which they are all animated. When we identify ourselves or distinguish ourselves from everybody else, we should not forget that we are first of all creatures and children of God.
Our proper relation with God can only take place when we assume the very identity of Christ!*