for Sunday, August 24, 2014
You are the Christ, the Son of the living God! You and I are invited to
proclaim this faith in our own hearts. The words are never enough. The
belief has to go to the very depths of our being, just as it did in Saint
Peter. We all know, even from the stories about Saint Peter, that this
belief will not make us holy immediately. Peter later denies Jesus Christ
and is so sad about it. But his heart and his faith was with Jesus.
The first reading is from the Prophet Isaiah and is a description of the
Master of the Palace in the time of the Jewish kings and is seen as
foreshadowing the role of Saint Peter and the bishops. What is important
is that every society, every grouping of people, must have some authority
within it in order for it to function as a society. This authority can be
expressed in various ways. The ways of expressing authority in our Church
have changed over the centuries. That should never surprise us. But there
is always an authority in the Church and that is necessary, both at the
level of human society but also at the level of being place there by Christ
The second reading today is from the Letter to the Romans and reflects on
the mystery of salvation. God could have saved us in various ways. God is
God. Yet God chose to send us His own Son in human flesh. Jesus chooses
to leave us the Church as His presence in our lives. This is another way
of God taking on our humanity. Many people believe that the Church is
simply another human religious construct. We believe that the Church is
given to us by Christ Himself, that there is authority in the Church which
guides our beliefs.
We can imagine that not everyone understood who Jesus was. Most of these
people knew Him as the son of the carpenter, Joseph, and the son of Mary.
When they refer to him as son of Joseph it should not surprise us. When
they refer to Him as son of Mary, we recognize that they knew there was
something unusual about his birth.
We come back, always, to this personal and deeply important challenge: who
do you say that I am? Each of us must answer that question. It may take
us our whole lifetime to do it. May we finally acknowledge Jesus as the
Christ, the Son of the living God!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 22.15, 19-23
Second Reading: Romans 11.33-36
Gospel: Matthew 16.13-20
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: