Saturday, August 23, 2014
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 24, 2014
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 22: 19-23 / Ps 138: 1-2, 2-3, 6, 8 (8bc) / Rom 11: 33-36 / Mt 16: 13-20
First Reading: Isaiah 22: 19-23
You will be deposed, strongman. I will hurl you down from where you are. On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe, I will strengthen him with your girdle, I will give him your authority, and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. Upon his shoulder I will place the key of the House of David: what he opens, no one shall shut; what he shuts, no one shall open. I will fasten him like a peg in a sure spot, and he will be a seat of honor in the house of his father.
Second Reading: Romans 11: 33-36
How deep are the riches, the wisdom and knowledge of God! His decisions cannot be explained, nor his ways understood! Who has ever known God's thoughts? Who has ever been his adviser? Who has given him something first, so that God had to repay him? For everything comes from him, has been made by him and has to return to him. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.
Gospel: Matthew. 16:13-20
After that Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of man is?" They said, "For some of them you are John the Baptist, for others Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets." Jesus asked them, "But you, who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "It is well for you, Simon Barjona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. And now I say to you: You are Peter (or Rock) and on this rock I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven." Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
In the First Reading, God gave the key of authority over the House of David to Eliakim. "He will have the keys of the office. What he opens, no one will shut and what he shuts, no one will open." Similarly in the Gospel, Jesus said to Peter, "I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; what you loose on earth will be loose in heaven."
Both Eliakim and Peter were given the keys of authority. But why was Peter given the big responsibility of leadership in the Church? Peter, as we know, was impulsive, changeable and weak-minded. What did Jesus Christ see in him? Wasn't he the one who started to sink when he got distracted by the storm? Wasn't he the one whom Jesus called Satan for stopping him from going to Jerusalem to fulfill his mission? Wasn't he the one who denied Jesus three times during his passion? However, there was one thing that Peter did which caught Jesus' attention positively. When Jesus asked the apostles the question what they thought about him, it was Peter who declared without hesitation, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!" Probably Jesus saw in Peter the quality of one who can be faithful to him, one who can be trusted. And true enough, after Jesus gave him the key to the kingdom of heaven, Peter was faithful to the task assigned to him even unto death. He gave his life to defend the resurrected Christ.
"Who do people say that I am?" The same question is being asked of us today. Who is Jesus Christ for us? Can we give an answer right away? How much do we know Jesus? How faithful are we to him? The answers of course will vary. It will depend on how much we know him and how faithful we are to him. We know many things about Jesus. We know that he is the Son of Mary and Joseph. We know that he is the Son of God. We know that he suffered, died on the cross, was buried, and rose again. We know about his teachings because we read the scriptures. However, do we know him on a very personal basis? Do we communicate with him in prayer? Do we put into action his teachings? Can we give our life for him like what the saints did? If we can say yes to these questions, then probably we know him but not yet completely. So let us continue spending more time with him in prayer to listen to him and know his will. Let us make our relationship with him stronger by following his examples of love and compassion to others. Like Peter, let us be faithful to him until death.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for Almabelle Abapo, Lisa Claire Branzuela and Dale Robert's Basilla who will take the Physician Licensure Exams (Aug 23,24, 30, 31) - the grace of wisdom, understanding and clarity of mind during their preparations and exam proper.
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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