Date: Sunday, August 27, 2017
Two times this week I found myself driving behind Metro Buses to see the ad: “Who is Kevin?” with a log on below: “KevinWho.org.” I was intrigued and curious. In our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah we hear the name: “Eliakim.” You want to know this guy. He is the new Master of the Palace. He has the robe and sash of authority; he has the keys to the palace with access to the King. Eliakim has the office similar to former Marine General John Kelly, now Chief of Staff, who controls access to the President.
In the area of Caesarea Philippi, near a Roman temple, Jesus asks his disciple: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They reply: “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” But Jesus makes it personal: “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter responds:” You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It is an inspiration less from Simon and much more from God. Jesus promises to build the church on Simon “the rock” and entrusts to him keys to kingdom of heaven. Although Peter rightly identifies Jesus as the “Christ” he misunderstands the meaning of the word and what it will entail for Jesus and for him. Jesus embraces the title “the Christ” or Jewish “Messiah” not as a political or military ruler but as (Isaiah’s notion of) a mysterious “suffering servant.” Peter has much to learn.
I did Google KevinWho.org. “Kevin” means different things to many people (doctors, nurses, guests, volunteers, Catholic Pastoral Care Director and family). “Kevin” means hospitality, compassion, comfort and dignity. “Kevin” is a Guest House next to Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “Kevin” was founded July 1972, the first such Guest House in the nation. “Kevin” is more than a warm and welcoming place to stay while family or friend receives care at Roswell Park. “Kevin” is a mission/vision. “We are Kevin.”
Jesus is “the Christ.” “Christ” identifies both the person and mission of Jesus. Key to knowing Jesus as Christ is to follow him. In the Gospel according to John, two inquiring disciples ask Jesus: “Where do you live?” Jesus invites them “to come and see.” Like Simon Peter we need to stay close to Jesus in order to understand the deeper meaning of the words: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We are Christ!