June 23, 2024: Who Am I? Whose Am I? What Am I Called to Be?

Jun 13, 2024

As you reflect on the Gospel reading this Sunday, imagine yourself in the boat with Jesus. Who are you? Which disciple resonates with who you are at this moment in time? Or do you resonate with Jesus’ persona? St. Ignatius calls this the Imaginative Prayer when you put yourself into the story and discover who you are in that story.

Jesus was asleep and not bothered by the waves knocking the boat around. He knew who he was, and he knew they were safe with him in the stormy sea. On the other hand, some of the disciples were nervous and felt they were in imminent peril. Yet, they did not know at this time Who Jesus really was, and they looked to him to save them. As soon as they awakened him, Jesus calmed the sea. Jesus questioned their faith and even though they still did not realize who Jesus was, the Son of God, they turned to him for help. When I was a Yale/ New Haven Bridgeport Hospital chaplain intern, we used this Gospel reading for our chapel time. As we entered into the Imaginative Prayer experience, I fell asleep, like Jesus, because I was on call all night. I leaned into Jesus. It was a stormy night with one code blue death, and I was the spiritual presence for the patient and the family. Life is filled with stormy days and nights, and when I lean into Jesus as my True North, I know I am safe.

To know Jesus, first and foremost, transforms and transcends who I am. In this discernment, I come to understand Whose I am. Who has called me by name? Of course, my parents, family, and friends play a key role in whose I am. Yet, God also calls me by name as his beloved daughter. Jesus is my brother, and I see the Holy Spirit as the feminine spirit of God—the Ruah, the breath or wind of God. As Catholics, we believe in the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When stormy seas arise, I relate to God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit depending on who I need the most at that time. I believe that Jesus’ disciples turned to God and looked upon Jesus as their brother, not knowing his true identity and destiny until the Last Supper. The disciples belonged to God, and when Jesus was with them, they belonged to him.

We can never be sure that Jesus’ disciples truly understood what he was calling them to be, as they laid the groundwork of faith for future generations. Do you think these men actually understood the depth of what they were called to be? The disciples’ faith wavered at times, and they didn’t always understand Jesus’ parables. Through these times of their waffling faith, Jesus reminded them of their mission and accompanied them. Jesus transformed them into becoming the apostles he needed to carry on his teachings when he would no longer be an earthly being. He was their rabbi—their teacher. Ponder on who or what you are called to be. Who are the important teachers in your life?

Reflecting on these three questions, Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., says, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human existence.” If you can think of yourself as a “spiritual being,” you will look at the world with new eyes. With these new eyes you will be awakened to the answers: Who Am I? Whose Am I? What Am I Called to Be?

As we approach the Synod in October and await the outcome of how woman might have leadership roles in our Church, St. Ignatius Loyola Women’s Voices is planning a Day of Reflection. Save the date for October 5 framed around these questions: Who Am I? Whose Am I? What Am I Called to Be?

— Jean Santopatre, Pastoral Associate