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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – Homily

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Isaiah 22:19-23
Romans 11:33-36
Matthew 16:13-20
August 24, 2014

Eliakim is offered the key to the House of David.  Jesus gives Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.  What is the significance of the keys?

We are not talking about keys to our home.  The key that Eliakim was not literally to the house that David dwelled in.  In this sense “the House of David” refers not to a building but to the Kingdom established through David, and not just an earthly kingdom but a kingdom of faith.

When Jesus gives Peter the keys, it’s not that there is a fence around Heaven with a padlock on it.  Peter is given the gift of knowing what it means to be Christian, what it means to say Jesus is the Christ.  Jesus makes it clear that Peter’s declaration of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” is not made through flesh and flood but through divine revelation.

Human knowledge seeks facts but depths and riches of God’s wisdom reach beyond human knowledge.  We can’t expect to understand it all but through the gift of faith we can believe.

It’s not that human knowledge is bad.  We need to learn all the knowledge we can about God.  The human knowledge helps us to know God.  Human words are essential as we try to express to others but at some point we make a leap of faith.

Jesus asks his disciples “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  The question begins at face value, who do they think Jesus is.  They compare him to other people like John the Baptist, Elijah or another prophet.

None of these answers are correct but it shows the people are thinking and talking about who Jesus is.  To help us grow in our faith we need to talk about who Jesus is to us.  We might want to say we don’t know how to talk about it but the only way we will learn is to begin doing.

The disciples have been talking about who Jesus is and it is time to take it to the next level.  Jesus next asks them, “But who you say that I am?”

Peter gives the correct answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of Living God.”  Peter has come to believe but as the story continues next week, he still needs to better understand what it means to say Jesus is the Messiah.

Who is Jesus to you?

Is Jesus someone you ask to fix your problems?

Is Jesus one you turn to for advice?

Is it easier for you to relate to Jesus because he is human and knows what life is like for us?

When Jesus reveals stuff to us that we don’t know, is Jesus someone you trust in?

Jesus died for us on the Cross to show us how much he loves us.  Jesus is the example of what it means for us to be people of faith.

How would you describe Jesus?

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