May the Lord fill you with peace in the Holy Spirit. It is on 27th August 2023. We celebrate the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Is God placing us or replacing us?
We reflect on Isaiah 22:19-23; the second reading is from Romans 11:33-36; and the Gospel from Matthew 16:13-20.
‘Who am I?’ is a persisting question of our life. Who is Jesus for us makes sense once we know who we are in relation to God and others. God trusts us beyond any doubt and entrusts us with greater responsibility. You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.
We all wish to hold positions, higher responsibilities, and powers in our lives. Some of us grab it by using religion others by political and social means. Whatever the game we play to secure positions, we must live with it. There are always precarious situations that arise for those who choose to be at the helm of affairs for their agenda and the schema to be achieved.
Surprisingly, God puts some of us into positions and responsibilities to achieve God’s agenda for humanity. That is exactly what we see in the first reading. God replaced the materialistic leader, a high court official.
God replaces the leaders when they do their own things and promote their personal agenda. God has replaced Shebna with Eliakim saying, “I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.” (Is.22:19-23).
The responsorial Psalm praises, “Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.” (Ps.138:8). In the second reading, we read the doxology which is that prayer of praise to God for the wisdom-filled plan of God for humanity. God governs us with wisdom, justice, and love.
We will never understand the mind of God in each situation. No human could offer a better suggestion to God or criticize God’s ways. Even in human crookery, God achieves God’s ways. God holds the absolute power and wisdom. In the end, we who are crazy to hold power and positions are mocked and ridiculed by the very fact of God’s wisdom and plan.
In the Gospel, Jesus entrusts the keys of the kingdom, the Church to Peter, for his public declaration of Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. “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 lose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Mt. 16:19).
May our service remind the one in whom we place all our trust. May you have a good day.