Appleton, WI

Aug 23 Homily Connect: What Does Jesus Look Like

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 23, 2020

IS 22:19-23  |  ROM 11:33-36,  | MT 16:13-20


“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Writing a Biography of Jesus

  • Normally we would focus on the who, what, where when and why
  • Today let’s focus on What did Jesus look like? and Who is Jesus for you?

Surprised by Popular Mechanics

  • Their most popular article of the last 20 years: The Real Face of Jesus

What did Jesus Look Like?

  • Not like you and me. Not tall, white or blue eyed
  • He would have stood out like a sore thumb
  • People would have identified him immediately
  • Judas would not have had to kiss him

Physical, Biological, Anthropological and Forensic Sciences Give Insights

  • Looked like a dark-skinned Semite
  • Five feet tall with average weight of 110 pounds
  • Weather beaten face – may have looked older
  • Muscular build as a carpenter

Our Image of Jesus

  • Important not to make Jesus in our own image
  • My heart can be expanded to those around who don’t look like me
  • Diversity is a gift of the Holy Spirit

How did Jesus Think about Things

  • I should not assume that Jesus thoughts or opinions are my thoughts and opinions
  • Resist to temptation to impose my opinions and thoughts on Jesus
  • I do not want to make in my image and likeness
  • When I exclude, dehumanize, demonize a person- we cannot assume Jesus agrees

The WHO Question

  • Jesus was only interested in what his closest companions thought
  • Peter responds to the question “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
  • Peter didn’t completely understand that Jesus would have to die on the cross
  • The Jewish people thought he would storm into Jerusalem and defeat the Romans

Who do YOU say Jesus is?

  • Son of God. Second Person of the Trinity.  You died for my Sins.  A teacher. A healer.
  • Does Jesus want a more personal response based on your relationship?

Who is Jesus to Me (Fr. Bill)?

Jesus is my all – my everything. Sometimes I forget this but He always reminds me. Jesus inspires me. He strengthens me. He holds my hand. He raises me up. He frees me. He helps me always look for Him in the people I serve. He never stops loving me and I want only to love Him. I am so sorry for the times I let Jesus down. He lives in me. Jesus has given me the gift of shame. It is my shame that throws me into His open arms. Jesus has given me the gift of tears and I cry often for my sisters and brothers who are lost, my refugee sisters and brothers, especially the children, for my sisters and brothers who are persecuted and executed for their love of Jesus. My friendship with Jesus is not nearly as strong as theirs.

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Scriptures and/or homily?
  • How have you imagined Jesus’ physical appearance in the past?
  • How have you been tempted you make Jesus in your image in thoughts and opinions?

Live Connected

  • Take a moment to write down from a personal level Who You say Jesus is.