Have you ever met someone who responds to questions of faith with answers that sound like they come from a textbook? They may have a deep personal faith, but they can’t communicate in their own words why their faith matters or why they love Jesus. I get that sense today in the Gospel. The disciples parrot what they’ve heard others say about Jesus. It’s their head knowledge talking. Only Simon Peter took the risk to speak from his heart.
The Church cannot survive on rote answers about our intimate relationship with Christ because our union with the person of Christ is a mystery, just as the love between spouses is one that surpasses knowledge. Saint John Paul II said it this way about knowing and loving Christ:
[T]he definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity. (Catechesi Tradendae, 5)
Clearly we need to know what the Church teaches about our faith. But it will be our love for Christ spoken in words that come from our heart that will inspire others to know and love him as well.