August 27, 2017

21st Sun., Ordinary Time

August 27, 2017:  Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend at bottom

For Psalm 138
For future Sundays
When the Lord asked the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” and Peter responded, “The Christ, Son of the Living God,” Jesus replied, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church....  I give you the keys to the kingdom.....”
The Lord continues to build his Church on a solid foundation, but there are cracks that need repair.  People who have received the Gospel, and for whom the Gospel in intended, are like little stones that cause trouble when we feel them underfoot, or appear ill suited for building a grand structure, but each person has a part to play as building material.  No stone is useless:  in Jesus' hands the smallest one becomes precious, because he looks at it tenderly, works it with his Spirit, and puts it in the right place, where it'll be most useful to the whole building.
    "Who do you say I am?"
  • Is 22:19-23  The Lord to palace master Shebna:  "I'll thrust you from office, clothe my servant Eliakim with your robe, and give him your authority.  He'll be father to the house of Judah.  I'll place the key of the House of David on his shoulder and make him a place of honor."
  • Ps 138:1-3, 6, 8  "Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands."  I'll thank, praise, and worship you.  You're kind and true.  You see the lowly, preserve me, and complete your work.
  • Rom 11:33-36  Oh, the depth of God's riches, wisdom, and knowledge!  His judgments are inscrutable, his ways unsearchable!  Who has known the Lord's mind, counseled him, or given him anything?  All things are from, through, and for him.   Glory to him forever!
  • Mt 16:13-20  Jesus / disciples:  “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” / “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or a prophet.” / “Who do you say I am?” / Simon Peter:  “The Christ, Son of the living God.” / “Blessed are you, Simon; my Father revealed this to you.  You're Peter, and upon this rock I'll build my Church.  I'll give you the keys to the Kingdom; what you bind or loose shall be so in heaven.”  "Tell no one."
  • Creighton:  How could Jesus be sure about Peter and the other disciples he called?  He could see their best selves; he knew where they were and what they could become.  It's consoling when I don't feel up to the task at hand, and it helps when counseling people doubting their call in light of their frailty.  Christ calls us anyway.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The cross road":  The Father revealed to Simon that Jesus was the Messiah, Son of God; this led to Simon's name change, Jesus building his Church on him, Peter's being given authority symbolized by the keys, and Jesus' insisting on the cross as the essence of discipleship, though Peter didn't understand all that and at first didn't accept the cross.  The Lord reveals himself to us too:  he may penetrate our hearts with his message of mercy.  This revelation can lead us to show mercy ourselves, forgiving and loving even our enemies.  A divine revelation transports us to the cross, where we're faced with Peter's dilemma:  pleased to receive the revelation but maybe reluctant to accept the cross.  Will we embrace the cross, or hear Jesus saying "Get out of My sight, you satan!  You're trying to trip me up.  You're judging by human standards, not God's"?  May we take up our cross and follow Jesus.
  • Passionist:  Life can change the expression and experience of faith:  look at Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.  Merton died while deepening his exploration of eastern approaches to faith and merging them with his experience.  Day lived her faith in a way that challenged Catholic leaders.  Never slow down spiritually!
  •  "Keys of the kingdom":  Jesus was recognized as a man of God, even compared with prophets John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah.  When Jesus asked "Who do you say I am?," Peter responded "The Christ, Son of God"; only God could have revealed that to him.  "Peter didn't say 'a Christ' or 'a son of God' but 'the Christ, the Son of God.'  There are many christs [anointed ones] by grace, adopted [as children], but only one Christ and Son of God by nature.  In so calling him, Peter indicates that Christ is life, and death has no authority over him.  Even if the flesh was weak and died, it rose again, since the bonds of death couldn't hold the Word." (Cyril of Alexandria, paraphrased)
Jesus plays on Peter's name, the word for 'rock.'  To call someone a "rock" was a great compliment; rabbis said God called Abraham "a rock to found the world on."  Through Abraham God established a nation; through faith Peter grasped who Jesus was.  The church is described as a spiritual house with members joined as living stones.  Faith in Christ makes us into rocks, spiritual stones.
Jesus gives Peter authority to govern the church Christ, the Rock, founded:  "Christ is a rock which is never disturbed or worn.  Peter gladly received his name from Christ to signify the church's established, unshaken faith.  The devil stirs calamities, temptations, and persecutions against the church, but the apostle's faith, founded on the rock of Christ, abides unshaken.  The keys of the kingdom were handed down so that one bound on earth has been bound in heaven, and one set free on earth has been set free in heaven." (Epiphanius, paraphrased)
The Lord offers us faith, hope, and love, and boldness to proclaim him as Savior.  Who do you say Jesus is?
  • Sunday-trumped saint, from Universalis:  Monica, woman of faith and virtue, married young, had Augustine and other children, was exemplary mother.  Her prayer for her wayward son's conversion was answered.  Reformed problem drinker (Confessions IX.8.18)
Dress legend
  • 'Heart' pin:  I thank You all my heart (psalm)
  • 'Angel' pin:  In the angels' presence I'll praise you (psalm)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  When I 'called,' you answered me (psalm)
  • 'Hands' tie:  Forsake not the work of your hands (psalm)
  • 'Owl' pin:  God's deep, rich wisdom (2nd reading)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"  "Who do you you say I am?" (gospel)  Who has known the Lord's mind or has repaid him? (2nd reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  "Flesh and blood didn't revealed this to you" (gospel)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church" (gospel)
  • 'Keys' pins:  "I'll give you the keys to the kingdom" (gospel); I'll place the key of the House of David on Eliakim's shoulder (1st reading)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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