Saturday, August 20, 2005
21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
AUGUST 21, 2005
21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - A
Thus says the LORD to Shebna, master of the palace: "I will thrust you
from your office and pull you down from your station. On that day I
will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with
your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your
authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to
the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on
Eliakim's shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut when he shuts, no
one shall open. I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place
of honor for his family."
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How
inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! For who
has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? Or who
has given the Lord anything that he may be repaid? For from him and
through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his
disciples, "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." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of
Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my
heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this
rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not
prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you
loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Then he strictly ordered
his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Fr. Mark Link relates the story of a little girl, who went to her
catechism class for the first time. After class her mother asked her,
"Amy, how did you like your catechism class today?"
The little girl said, "I didn't like it at all."
Her mother said, "It was your first time. Just wait a few weeks.
You'll come to like it."
Three weeks later the little girl came home from her catechism class
with big tears in her eyes.
"What's the matter?" her mother asked.
"It's the catechism class," the little girl said, "must I keep
"Why?" asked her mother, "What's wrong?"
"Well," said the little girl, "everybody talks about somebody named
Jesus. And I don't know who he is. I've never even met him."
In today's Gospel, it seems that Jesus' reputation and news of his
miracles and preaching had spread far and wide ahead of him. A lot of
people who didn't know Jesus had heard others talk about him, but they
never met him themselves.
But that's not a big problem. One of Jesus' followers could tell them,
"Come with us today. Jesus will be speaking along the lakeshore.
Listen to him yourself. Afterward you can meet him and talk with him."
It's not that easy for us today. There's no one who can say to us,
"Come with us today, Jesus will be speaking at the shopping mall.
Listen to him yourself. Afterwards you can meet him and talk to him."
This brings up an important question. Where can we find Jesus
today? Where can we listen to him? Where can we meet him in person
and get to know him ourselves?
And of course, you and I know the answer. We find Jesus right here in
this church, as we celebrate together the Holy Eucharist.. Jesus
himself said, "Where two or three come together in my name, I am there
with them." (Matt. 18:20)
Granted we find Jesus around the Lord's Table, how can we hear him
speak to us? Again, you and I know the answer. Jesus speaks to us
through the Scripture, especially as it is read and explained at Mass.
Jesus himself said to his disciples, "Whoever listens to you listens to
me." (Luke 10:16)
And, finally, how do we meet Jesus in person? Again we know the
answer. We meet Jesus in the Eucharistic banquet, which we will be
sharing in few minutes.
But is this the only place where we can meet Jesus in today's
world? How about the other six days of the week? Is it possible to
meet Jesus in the course of our everyday life? The answer is yes.
First of all we meet him, again, when two or three gather in his name.
This happens especially when we gather as a family around the meal
table and say grace together in his name.
It's a moving experience to see a family holding hands as they say
grace together. At the moment they join hands, Jesus becomes present
to that family in a special way.
If holding hands while saying grace is not a part of your supper
gathering, I suggest you do it this coming week as a special response
to this Sunday's reading. It may seem awkward at first, but it will
help bring home the fact that Jesus joins you then in a special way.
A second way we meet Jesus during the week is when we reach out to
someone in need. Whenever we share with someone hungry, house someone
homeless or befriend someone lonely, we meet Jesus. "I tell you," said
Jesus, "whenever you did this for one of the least important of these
brothers [and sisters] of mine, you did it for me." (Matt. 25: 40) The
needy person we reach out to may be a husband, wife, or child, or
someone outside the family.
A third way we meet Jesus during the week is when we are tired or
depressed, or afraid, or confused, and we reach out to Jesus in prayer.
"Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I
will give you rest . Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in
spirit; and you will find rest." (Matt. 11: 28-29)
And also we don't have to travel backward into history to meet
Jesus, listen to him, and talk to him. Jesus is risen and present in
our world today. He is here just as truly as he was in Galilee.
Let us sum up what we have been saying with a story. In his book
Prayer from Where You Are, James Carroll recalls something many of us
remember from our childhood.
Every Sunday the comic page of the newspaper used to carry a series of
the printed games. One of everybody's favorites was a picture showing
some scene, like a family enjoying a picnic in a park. Printed beneath
the picture were the words, "Can you find the man hidden in this
You'd look and look, and at first you wouldn't see anything that looked
like a man. Then you'd turn the paper around this way and that way to
get a different view of it.
Suddenly, from the edge of a fluffy white cloud you'd see an ear.
Then, from the green leaves of a tree you'd see a mouth, and so on,
until you'd see an entire man's face smiling out at you from the picnic
Once you saw that man, that picnic scene was never the same again. For
you had found the hidden man. You yourself had seen his smiling face.
It's that way in our own lives. We Christians know, by faith, that
there's a man hidden away in every scene of daily life. And that man's
name is Jesus. Once we find him and meet him, up close and personal,
no scene in life is ever the same again. That is part of the message
in today's Gospel. That is part of the good news of the Lord that we
are to carry into the week with us.
Let's close with a prayer.
Lord, sometimes we feel like the little girl
Who didn't like her catechism class.
We hear people talking about you,
But we have not yet met you ourselves.
That's why we have never been able
To answer the question you put to your disciples
In today's Gospel: "Who do you say I am?"
Help us find you
Not, only in joined hands
Around the family dinner table,
But in outreached hands
To the lonely and needy
And in up-reached hands to you in personal prayer.
Help us see your smiling face looking out at us
>From every scene of daily life.
Then, with Peter,
We too will be able to say,
"Lord, you are the Messiah,
The Son of the living God."
We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the speedy recovery and safekeeping of Martin Allen Kunz.
- for the personal intentions of Jane Figuerres-Guillermo.
- for the gifts of wisdom and knowledge on the incoming medical
board exams of Evangelyn.
- for the early recovery of Lilia Payawal. May the almighty God touch
her with His healing hands.
- for the personal intentions of Julie D.
- for the safe travel of Lydia and JP
- for the personal intentions of the Pe Family
- for the personal intentions of Mary Catherine Co Librando.
- for the safe travel of Veny Yap.
- for the speedy recovery of Ann Maloney.
- for the personal intentions of Julie.
- for the personal intentions of E. Woods.
- for the speedy recovery of Alice Tan.
- for the speedy recovery of Fr. Maximo Barbero, S.J.
- for the speedy recovery of Fr. Santiago Leon, S.J.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Justin Lim
- Birthday: Bryan Lim
- Birthday: Fr. Johnny Go, S.J.
- Prayer Intention: Reliance Surety & Insurance Co., Inc
- In Memoriam: Josefa Olivares Bautista
- In Memoriam: Sabino Padilla y Bibby
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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