Who Do You Say That I Am?

Who Do You Say That I Am?

BY JOSH UTTER | August 28, 2023
Sunday’s Readings

Jesus demands an answer in Sunday’s Gospel: “Who do you say that I am?”

Peter replies, calling Jesus “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus knows that a reputation precedes him. People have given a number of different names, some not entirely flattering, so his question to his disciples is a test to determine if they see him for who he truly is.

Who Do You Say That I Am?

During a recent trip to El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, I shadowed my colleagues who provide mental health and psychosocial support services to migrants and asylum seekers on both sides of the border. During group sessions at the migrant shelters, participants would share what they experienced as they traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border. Some shared about the harrowing journey across the Darién Gap. Others spoke of the extortion and violence committed by armed groups. Each story was different, but what was shared resonated across the group and fostered a community of solidarity.

Listening to these testimonies, my heart hurt thinking about all the names and labels given to these individuals and families at the border. A reputation precedes them before they even reach the U.S. But as these individuals and families gathered in the shelter to process their journey, sharing their stories, they challenged those names and reputations. They are parents, siblings, and much more. Children of the Living God.

Who do you say that they are?

For Reflection:

  • What narratives do you hear about immigrants and asylum seekers? Which narratives should be uplifted? Which should be challenged?
5 replies
  1. Mary Manly
    Mary Manly says:

    I find it heartbreaking that the migrants are treated as so much riffraff instead of granting them the dignity of children of God. Where is the commitment to the Beautitudes and love of neighbor?

  2. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    In getting a ride home from Church, the driver of the car was from Algeires and as a worker, he was telling the plight of the ‘new migrant’.In our hearts we all know that we are all migrants striving to do what is better for our family, our Church, communities.. The driver was tellling the plight of working without care or respect and the need for each of us to realize the importance of the worker and all he/she does for the community in which they live. The ‘new migrant’ is the one who serves me food, who fixes my car, who fixes my house and all that entails so I am especially aware of all that is needed to make that person feel/know they are part of the community of Jesus. So today I will be intentionally grateful for all the ‘new migrants’ who are caring for meand I for them..

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    It doesn’t matter what your qualification is, or from which country you come from, when you are in a new country you find yourself working for minimum wages, and sometimes much less for jobs that do not need an academic qualification. And if you are able to return to your former homeland, you are no longer accepted there either.
    I think it is a shame, especially in some countries of Europe which do not have enough personnel in certain professions such as health professions, and teachers, that the state still refuses to give qualified migrants over the age of 50 permission to work in their profession. Surely, instead of complaining about the long waiting lists for hospitals and the lack of doctors, it would be better to employ all the migrants who have qualified overseas, especially if they have a life time of experience behind them. Poland allows migrant doctors and health professionals to work with their own people. What about the rest of western Europe?

  4. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    It’s a common journey together. Generous distributors of names and labels and humble recipients of those precious titles are fellow pilgrims sailing in the same boat.


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