Isaiah 22:19-23; Ps 138:1-3, 6, 8; Romans 11:33-36 Matthew 16:13-20
Two readings this weekend focus us on the "key of the House of King David" being given to a special son. God "will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for His family." That person is revealed by God, our Father, in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ, in today’s gospel. The important question was put to the disciples and to us today, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
Then Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?" This is the critical question asked to all of us. Do we know Jesus personally? And do we have a daily and personal relationship with him? Jesus is the rock and all others must be built on Christ. Jesus gave to Peter and his successors the key to God’s kingdom on earth. Christ’s church is the treasure house of God’s blessings for the whole human race. This is the good news we are to take out to all the world.
At the end of this gospel passage, Matthew 16:20, Jesus told them, "tell no one that he was the Christ." Yet after the Resurrection Matthew 28:18b-20 says: "Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!" There is room in this treasure house of all peoples.
In God’s house the key is the Cross of Christ, which takes away all of our sins. All people are God’s children and he loves all of us. He wants us to receive his love. Jesus lights us up with the power of his resurrection. Then he sends us out into the world to bring his light and love to all around us each day. He makes us his Olympic torches to bring his light to others.
Psalm 27 tells us that: "The Lord (Jesus) is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 138, in today’s Liturgy, tells us that "when I called, you answered me; you built up strength with me. …Your kindness, O Lord, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands." God knows and hears all of our prayers.
The first part of this psalm reminds us to give God thanks with all our hearts, for "You have heard the words of my mouth." So being filled with God’s graces and having our "torch" lit by Christ, we go into the world confident that we are "Christ bearers," taking his light wherever we go. We continue to go forth confident in our prayers that Jesus will directly appear to those who refuse to accept him, and may come to say “yes” to his awesome love.
Have a blessed week shining for Christ. Peace and all good.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2014 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)