Homily Twenty-first Sunday of the Year A - Sunday, August 27, 2017
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23
Psalm: Ps 137:1-3. 6. 8. “Lord, your love is eternal, do not forsake the work of your hands."
Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Twenty-first Sunday of the Year A - Sunday, August 27, 2017 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-21st-ordinary-a
[“’gospel’ values included in the readings: God loves Justice, God’s wisdom and thinking is beyond full human understanding, Our Lord is the Christ, the Son of God”]
In the Gospel Our Lord gives St Peter, the first amongst the apostles, the keys to the Kingdom..
Our Lord builds his church on the solid rock of the profession of faith that Peter makes and that we all make too.
The church is BUILT upon the solid foundation of the profession of faith that “Our Lord is the Messiah, the Christ, the chosen one. Our Lord IS the Son of God who shows us what God is like. Our Lord is the one who forgives our sins and sacrifices his life so that we may be saved. That we may be restored to God’s house. Our Lord is the one who invites us to share in God’s gifts and promises and if we accept, we become Our Lord’ brothers and sisters. We become Our Lord’ disciples and children of God - Part of God’s family forever.
WHO AM I ? …. Asks Our Lord of his disciples………
Who do you say I Am??????
A person cannot be reduced to a mere sum of the characteristics that you can use to describe them……. Who a person is, cannot be summed up merely by titles that they may have.. Every person, not least of which Our Lord himself, is mystery and encounter…. Our Lord must be encountered as a person before one can understand him as a figure of doctrine and belief… //
In fact surely one of the most common things humans do to each other and it may be the most unfair thing we can do.. it try to reduce people to categories and file them into neat boxes so that we can understand them… // TO ‘LABEL’ ANOTHER PERSON //
Whilst that may sometimes be helpful for practicality.. it actually is a reducing of the mystery and complexity of a person to clichés and stereotypes… // which can replace dealing with the real person in favour of labels and generalizations and assumptions about a person that are pale shadows of who they really are…..
Our jobs are important to us…. But who we are is more than the job we do…… who we are is more than what we have achieved in life…. who we are is more than what we are capable of doing ……… and even how we look and what we possess is not really the core of our true identity……… and when we rely too much on those other qualities…. (not that all aren’t important)……… if we make one or a few qualities the sum total of what makes us “US” then we can run into troubles….
If my job is everything I am.. but one day I might lose that job….. if my reputation is important.. and for all of us to a great degree it is very important… but if it is everything… it can be tarnished… it can be wrongly taken away for us…. If who I am is all about what I can do… my abilities… my health…. One day that may fail me too……..
No, who we really ARE MUST be something much, much deeper than the various qualities and abilities that make up our lives….. ultimately… who we are truly is something that time or situation can never take away… we are beloved sons and daughters of a loving God… who loves us and calls us into life with him……. And calls us into right relationship with others around us…..
Who is this person Our Lord????// EACH person MUST DISCOVER the meaning and nature of Our Lord themselves….// There is no substitute for personally encountering Our Lord as Christ in the scriptures and in our daily lives… //
It is not enough to obtain merely the PRE-packaged doctrines about Our Lord… although that is not to say those doctrines don’t tell us much about Our Lord and his mission. And values…... // but Our Lord is much more than the things we say about him…Ultimately who Our Lord IS,,,, is about encountering God (and that encounter with God occurs in relationship and not merely an intellectual exercise.. an exercise of the mind……. )… encountering Christ and his good news in our lives… in the people we meet and ourselves… and our life story…
Perhaps the second reading holds the Key.. in it Saint Paul reminds us that, although there is much we can and need to know and search for in relation to our understanding of Our Lord and God in general… nevertheless.. ultimately God is much more than we could ever truly comprehend… God has some aspects that are knowable but others.. that are beyond our human comprehension….are not// But actually … that applies to any human being… the person sitting next to you… even if you know them very well… ultimately they are (still) a mystery….// They cannot be reduced to a list of facts about them.. they are much much more than the sum of their characteristics and traits…../ or past ways of relating and behaving// we are mystery.. and God is infinite mystery…//
Ultimately… it is not as much about knowing and more about engaging in the mystery…..// , jumping into the deep…./ and ongoing prayer, reflection, dialogue and discussion… and of course, encounter….in the unfolding events of each day…..
Christ reminds us, it’s all really about relationship… more than categorization and definitions. relationship with God… relationship with each other.. relationship with who we are ourselves.. it is an ongoing.. never ending journey…
// each one of us is called upon to reflect personally on Our Lord question…. “But you….. who do YOU say I am……”
I suppose it should come as no shock… that for us Christians….. Our Lord… means absolutely everything to us ……….. Not only do we really, admire him as a person…. We like the message of inclusion, forgiveness, and welcome that Our Lord comes to give all people…… We love the way he always put people first and God’s law was always put in its proper perspective as a lifegiving source for the benefit and help of humans… never to be used rightly as a millstone around the neck…… I love the fact that Our Lord is God who has become human….. because this makes humanity.. and the physical world… blessed, holy… sacred…… //
I am in awe of the fact that Our Lord is so protective of each and every one of his heavenly fathers sons and daughters…… God’s children… so protective that he even says…. “I regard that what you do to even the least of these… it is as if you are doing it to me personally” …. And so, “over each one of us and all of us….Our Lord throws over a cloak of protection, care and inclusion that is beyond measure ……… Our Lord, to me is the ultimate revelation of not only what God is like.,… but how God acts towards us… and what God feels towards each of us…. and that is very good news…
We not only worship Our Lord as God the son, and messiah.,. but also admire him and like him as he is a friend and mentor // I can’t get enough of the still fresh and challenging message that is to be found in his words, parables and actions… in the new testament… I believe (like Peter) we haven’t even begun to comprehend the radicality of his message…… and we are only just starting to apply it in our lives….
· FR. PAUL W. KELLY
· Break Open the Word. Liturgical Commission. 2011.
Fr Paul W. Kelly
Archive of homilies and reflections is at: http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
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Twenty-first Sunday of the Year A
The Lord be with you.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
You raise the dead to life in the Spirit. Lord, have mercy//You bring pardon and peace to the sinner. Christ, have mercy// You bring light to those in darkness. Lord, have mercy//
When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.
SUNDAYS I p.28
Euch prayer two p.56
Go forth, the Mass is ended.
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