August 24, 2014: Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching
“…This presumes that it (the parish) really is in contact with the homes and lives of its people and does not become a useless structure out of touch with people or a self-absorbed cluster made up of a chosen few…” (28) The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23
Psalm: 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8
Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. “The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head.” This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.” (881)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
Jesus asks the disciples two questions, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” and “But who do you say that I am?”. Two layers of perceptions, a perception initially of the world glancing at “I am”, but a limit of depth to see Divine reality. So they perceive only prophetic voices not the Messiah. A revelation of earthly flesh and blood, not guided by spiritual intuition. In the dialogue, we only hear one reply to the second question, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter articulates the spiritual truth, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Blessed was Peter for proclaiming the depth of Truth.
Today, we must hear these same questions of Jesus to be His disciples. For we need to know the perceptions of the world towards “I am” to be active listeners of society, to hear where people are in their daily flesh and blood existence, to see the reality of how people live their lives. For if we do not listen, hear and see society, we lack awareness of the world to be a disciple of Jesus. Living faith totally immersed in a prayerful posture with the Divine isolates one in an apparent safe space away from the temptations and challenges of the world, but limits one from being a disciple trekking in the reality of the world. And how do we answer Jesus’ second question, the depth and breadth of our spiritual embrace of Christ. Our answer defines the spiritual place of our soul. Do we just appreciate ”I am’s” prophetic words or do we embrace Him as the living embodiment of God? Do we reflect upon our belief only in the silence of our thoughts or boldly proclaim faith lovingly without hesitancy? If our belief is silent to the world, faith is self-serving instead of serving others. Faith falsely consumed by self-love for one’s personal holiness and piety, instead of loving without exception as God loves. As disciples of “I am”, we must cling to the hope of eternity to actively live as visible manifestations of God’s love, peace and joy…then we see why Jesus asks the two questions and answer them with our lives.
Individual Reflection: Romans 11:33-36
Start an on-going virtual food drive for your neighborhood food pantry. Fund them through cash donations on a web based format, as they can many times buy more food dollar per dollar than individuals purchasing food individually at their grocery store. It could encourage donations on a regular basis, if the program is designed to receiving regular monthly contributions.
Family Reflection” Matthew 16:13-20
Have a family reflection and discussion time on this scripture and share your answers to each of Jesus’ two questions.
“O God, who causes the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.”
Collect from Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born August 16, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern