Genesis 9: 1-13
Mark 8: 27-33


The readings today touch on identity. Hearing Jesus ask this question, “Who do you say I am?” I am taken by Jesus gifting an invitation to presence. Not simply attentive listening or being present to another, however holding a true inner presence. Tuning into how we feel, to where we want to go for the day, for the year, because with that kind of mindfulness, that kind of heartfulness, we’re stepping into the supportive flow of life itself.

For Jesus, identity was a theme throughout his life; even today we are left with questions of ‘who was he’, ‘what his life was about’. These are the same questions that we ask ourselves time and time again over our life journey.

I have come to the conclusion that in society, we are trained or socialised to measure our values and identity in quantifiable ways. The grades when studying, the qualifications we hold, dollars, metrics, pounds, the things, the likes. It is a cycle of division and of providing while distracting us from the beauty of life. Slowly life is teaching me, not only from individuals but also from Mother Nature, calling us to embrace the core message of the gospels and simply LOVE as the only way forward in all its forms and expressions.

As I continue on the path of reflective discovery, I am left sensing that living a heart-centred life is a revolution. It is wrapped up in our identity and transformative when we start from the heart. Its sensing and creative power is unlimited. The heart can tell the difference between truth and illusion. The heart can transmute and transform what’s holding us back. It has the wisdom to take everything and everyone into consideration. The heart is inclusive, knowing how to find joy everywhere. The heart is constantly signalling us to choose life.

Identity is about choosing life, life-affirming feelings over and over again, to choose peace, faith, beauty, freedom and Love when there is so much of the opposite swirling around us.

Sr Karen Englebretsen CP, Cross and Passion Sisters. blessed to be a spiritual care worker in the homeless sector in Melbourne.