“What’s in a name?” Juliet asks Romeo. In the scriptures, there is a lot of importance in a name, because often when God gives a special mission to someone, he changes their name. For example, Abram became Abraham, Sari became Sarah, Jacob became Israel, Saul became Paul, and, in our reading today, Simon becomes Peter.
Jesus asks who the disciples think that he is and Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” He is rewarded with the name “Peter,” which means “rock,” and is given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, a sign of power. He now has a special mission and a name to go with it.
My friends, the same thing happened to us at baptism. The ceremony starts out with the question, “What name do you give this child?” And with that name comes a special commission to live as Christ did, showing love of God through love of neighbor. Each of us has a special mission. There are people we will meet and have the
opportunity to influence in a way that no one else can. Christ has entrusted to me, with my name, the responsibility to live out that commitment.
Jesus says to each of us, “who do you say that I am?” Intellectually we will say, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” But what do we say with how we live our lives? Am I living in such a way that I am fulfilling my baptismal promise? Am I living a life of love of God, shown through love of neighbor?
Church sign of the week: Let all that you do be done in love.