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Regnum Christi

How Did Peter Know?
Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time (Aug. 21, 2011)

August 21, 2011
Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 16:13-20
Jesus went into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, I know through faith that you are present in my life. I hope in your promise to be with me. I love you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer as a token of my love.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me an experiential knowledge of you.

1. Many People Say Many Things: When Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” he receives many answers. Everyone has his own opinion. Perhaps they are satisfied that their opinions are correct and have stopped seeking; perhaps they are too lazy to pursue the truth any deeper. It is easy to say something, to toss out an answer, to draw a superficial conclusion. We must be careful not to come to a hurried conclusion or be satisfied with what might only apparently be true. Many people say many things about Christ. We must have the tenacity to pursue the profound truth about who he is.

2. How Did Peter Know? How did Peter know that Christ was the Messiah, the Son of the living God? Peter did not say, “The heavenly Father told me that you are the Messiah.” He was probably not even aware that the Father has been working in him. Peter has been traveling with Christ, hearing him speak and seeing him work miracles. He reflected on all this and began to perceive that Christ is much more than just a brilliant teacher. Peter began to see Christ for who he truly is. In the same way God works in our mind and heart, helping us to see clearly the truth of supernatural things. We may not even be aware that the heavenly Father is present, but when we sincerely strive to know Christ and are open to the action of God’s grace in our soul, we, too, come to know Christ for who he really is.

3. Responsibility: Peter’s openness to the action of God’s grace and his recognition of Christ as God bring with them a responsibility – Peter is given the keys of the Kingdom. He is given the task of shepherding and building up the Church. Like Peter, my recognition of Christ comes with a responsibility. God gives me the gift of faith and along with it the responsibility to spread his Gospel. I must take this responsibility seriously. I need to make sure that the good news of the kingdom is proclaimed to all mankind.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, please help me to delve deep into the truth about who you are and not to be satisfied with simply having some vague idea. I want to know you intimately, the same way St. Peter and many holy saints have known you. Grant me this grace not just for my sake, but also for all those souls with whom I will come into contact.

Resolution: I will make a special effort in prayer to come to know Christ better.

54 posted on 08/21/2011 7:29:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Why Don’t You Tell Your Face?

August 20th, 2011 by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.

Is 22:19-23 / Rom 11:33-36 / Mt 16:13-20

On Sunday morning a man showed up at church with both of his ears terribly blistered, so his pastor asked, “WHAT happened to YOU?”

“I was lying on the couch watching a ball game on TV while my wife was ironing nearby.  I was totally engrossed in the game when she went out, leaving the iron near the phone. The phone rang, and keeping my eyes on the TV, I grabbed the hot iron and put it to my ear.”

“How dreadful,” gasped the pastor. “But how did the other ear get burned?”

“Well, you see, I’d no sooner hung up and the guy called back!”

+            +            +

He just didn’t get it. Lots of folks never get it, never understand how life really works, even at the simplest levels. That’s why Jesus is pressing his followers — and us — so insistently in Sunday’s Gospel: “Do you understand who I am,” he asks, “and what my being here means for you?”

It’s a crucial question.  And there’s one sure way of finding the answer, and that is by checking how we’re living. Are we living like people who know for sure that a loving God is walking at their side at every minute?  Let’s see:

+ Have we stopped wasting our time worrying?

+ Have we put aside posing and posturing and fretting about our image?

+ Have we stopped closing our eyes to our dark side? And stopped avoiding things that seem too much for us?

+ Do we welcome life with a happy heart. Are we glad to wake up in the morning?

+ Do we see how gifted and special we are? At least sometimes, does seeing our own giftedness just make us want to smile?

+ Do we have hearts so full of thankfulness that we instinctively work at helping others be as happy as we are?

If that’s the way we’re living, then we understand who Jesus is, and we know what it means to have him walking with us. It means that we’ve been set free from all kinds of chains and fears and sadness. It means that no matter what, we’re going to be okay. It also means that we have the power to help set other people free from all manner of sadness by showing them HIS face mirrored right here in our own.

A long time ago there was an old Indian chief whose little granddaughter was something of a sourpuss. “Are you happy?” he asked her one day.

“Yes, grandpa,” she replied.

“Well then, my dear, why don’t you tell your face?”

We have every reason to be very happy right here and now because we already have everything we really need: We have God himself!

Why don’t we tell our face, and our heart?

We’ve already got it all!

55 posted on 08/21/2011 7:33:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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