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Sunday Gospel Reflections

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I:
Isaiah 22:15,19-23 II: Romans 11:33-36
Matthew 16:13-20

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philip'pi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?"
14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Interesting Details
  • (v.13) Caesarea Philippi, where Peter professed that Jesus was the Messiah, is a city built by prince Philip on the slope of Mount Hermon, north of Palestine. This place was known as a place of divine revelation in the Old Testament.
  • (v.16) The term "Messiah" reflects the disciples' hope that Jesus would deliver Israel from its enemies and establish God's kingdom on earth.
  • Verse 16 is parallel to Mk 8:27-28. However Matthew added a further specification of Jesus' identity as the Son of the living God.
  • The phrase the "Son of the living God" corrects any false implications present in the title Messiah. In the Jewish context, the word Messiah has for most people a very precise meaning: the coming Davidic king, the religious/political leader who would restore the power and glory of the nation of Israel. Jesus consistently refuses a political interpretation of his mission.
  • (v.18) In the New Testament, Jesus mentions Peter's name 195 times as compared to 130 times for all the rest of Apostles.

One Main Point

Peter makes his declaration of faith in Christ. Jesus appoints Peter as the leader of the Church as well as the gatekeeper of the kingdom of heaven.

  1. If Jesus comes and asks me who he is, how would I answer? If someone asks me who Jesus is, how do I explain?
  2. Jesus called Peter to be the leader of his Church. In what role does Jesus call me to be?
  3. Imagine myself being present at Caesarea Philippi among the apostles; how does Jesus react (gesture, facial expressions, tone) to Peter's answer? How do the apostles react when Peter is named the leader of the Church?
  4. Put myself in Peter's position; what will I do for the Church?

43 posted on 08/21/2011 6:22:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Sunday, August 21

Liturgical Color: Green

The Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared in an apparition in Knock, Ireland on this day in 1879. Our Lady was silent and appeared deep in prayer. Today over a million and a half pilgrims visit the site annually.

44 posted on 08/21/2011 6:27:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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