21st Sunday Year A

Reading 1 – Isaiah 22:19-23
Psalm – Psalm 138:1-8
Reading 2 – Romans 11:33-36
Gospel – Matthew 16:13-20


Peter: Series Part 1 Homily

The Inscrutable God by Bishop Barron

  • Paul exults in the mystery of God. He tried his best and now he knows he cannot grasp it. Mysteries… How could God allow the innocent to suffer so much? How can we reconcile God’s love with a child with leukemia, human trafficking, etc.
  • Paul shows here the prayerful surrender after having thought this these huge questions deeply… prayerfully surrendering to the mystery. Even married couples married for 50 years… say their spouses are even more mysterious now than when they first met.  2 things = think deeply + prayerful surrender

Who do you say that I am? by Fr. Cantalamessa

  • Jesus’ opinion poll has two parts, which have two distinct questions. First, “Who do people say that I am?” And second, “Who do you say that I am?”
  • Between the two responses there is a leap over an abyss, a “conversion.” To answer the first question it was only necessary to look around, to have listened to people’s opinions. But to answer the second question, it was necessary to look inside, to listen to a completely different voice, a voice that was not of flesh and blood but of the Father in heaven. Peter was enlightened from on high.
  • Jesus does not seem to value very much what the people think of him. He wants to know what his disciples think of him. He immediately asks them to speak for themselves. He does not let them hide behind the opinions of others. He wants them to speak of their own opinions. Almost the identical situation repeats itself today.

Msgr. Pope Homily: “Peter’s Office”

  • If no one is Pope everyone is pope. If no one is in charge everyone is in charge.
  • “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” = Who is Jesus Christ?
  • The job of the Church = preach the truth of Her Head = Jesus Christ. In season and out of season.
  • Then Jesus asks, Who do you say that I am? … silence …
  • then Peter announces the truth.
  • Our trust is in God that God is guiding them.
  • If I were God, I would not have planned it that way… I would have a direct phone line from heaven… how about this parish… I would not trust me… how about home… God has trusted you to be the parents for your children… amazing how much God trusts us!!
  • This is not “Pope Francis is the holiest or smartest man…” God is able to write straight with crooked lines… do perfect things with imperfect human beings… does not call the qualified but qualifies the called!


Jeff Cavins’ Reflection from Encountering the Word

  • 2 things: (1) Put your trust in Jesus’ Church – we have been given certitude today to trust in the Church, (2) Pray for our Pope to father God’s flock.

Dr. Tim Gray’s Reflection from Opening the Word (on Formed website)

  • Jesus asks us today: “Who do you say that I am?”
  • To answer “Isn’t Jesus alone enough?” ** Like – “How can someone say, I love the king but I hate his kingdom?” You cannot separate Christ and His Church just like you cannot separate a king from his kingdom. Jesus is a king who came to establish a kingdom. Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom. Peter recognizes that Jesus is king. Then Jesus makes Peter prime minister.



St. Charles Borromeo Bible study

Reading 1 – Isaiah 22:19-23
Psalm – Psalm 138:1-8
Reading 2 – Romans 11:33-36
Gospel – Matthew 16:13-20


Gospel – Matthew 16:13-20

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus (Mk 8.27–30; Lk 9.18–20)

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 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. 18 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.

In Aramaic the word is kepha, in Greek it is petros. The name means “rock.” No one had ever been named “Rock” before. Some will point out that petros means small stone while petra means large bolder in Greek. The text reads “You are petros and on this petra …” Petra is the feminine form of the word and the Church has enough problems without the sacred author calling Peter effeminate. The usage in Greek at the time of Christ did not make a distinction in the meaning of the masculine and feminine forms of the word. In Aramaic, the language which Jesus spoke, kepha has no gender. You will see kepha transliterated as Cephas (Kephas) in John’s gospel, 1st Corinthians and Galatians.

19 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.”

Again just as in our first reading where the power to open and shut were given, here the ability to bind and loose are given. This is the ability to make the earthly rules for the Church – not change God’s rules, but make the rules which implement His rules. He has full authority on earth, an authority which is bestowed and guaranteed by God. The earthly Church is related to the heavenly kingdom as it mediates salvation in the time between the earthly ministry of Jesus and the future coming of the heavenly kingdom. Binding and loosing are rabbinic technical terms that can refer to binding the devil in exorcism and the juridical acts of excommunication and of definitive decision making (which is a form of teaching through legislation and policy setting). The authority to bind and loose is given to the disciples in Matthew 18:18, but to Peter alone are accorded the revelation, the role of the rock of foundation (see Ephesians 2:20), and especially the keys. Notice that the binding and loosing are initiated on earth but are confirmed in heaven.

20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.


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