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We answer so many different questions in our life, but some matter more than others. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus turns to his apostles and asks the question, “who do you say that I am?“ The way you answer this question gives an ultimate direction to your life. It is the most important question of all time. What would your answer be?

For my part, Jesus is the great Christ, Messiah, the one sent by God to reunite humanity to himself through the Paschal mystery. Really, for me, as for all of us, this question gets to the center of my identity as a person. I don’t know who I would be if I had not been introduced to Christ Jesus an early age. I came to know him through my parents and their families, through my parish and the priests there, through my Catholic grade school, and particularly through my youth group while in high school.

At St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the pastor funded a full-time youth minister who implemented the Life Teen program after many years of groundwork through the Antioch program. When I started high school, this was a weekly part of my life: the evening 6 PM mass and the youth group meeting that followed. We went on retreats twice a year for a full weekend, Friday through Sunday evening.

Those retreats invited, nudged, and challenged me to open myself to a deep relationship with Christ Jesus. It is through this youth group that my life of prayer first opened up into a personal conversation, a true sharing of hearts. It is during these years where I truly abandoned myself to God’s will. Allowing the Lord complete control (or whatever it was I could muster) in the large and small aspects of my life, and trying sincerely for true conversion, allowed for an encounter with Jesus deeper than ever before. Little did I know that this was only the beginning. It was like coming to a clearing out of the woods, where amazing new horizons open up before you.

I pray that everyone of us can truly be transformed from glory to glory through and ever deeper knowledge of the Lord Jesus. At the end of our days, so much of what we busy ourselves with will not matter one bit. The one thing that will truly matter is this question: “who do you say that the Son of Man is?”

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