23RD AUGUST, 2020.
†21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Is 22:19-23/Ps 138:1-2a, 2bcd-3, 6&8/Rom 11:33-36/Mat 16:13-18
(Rev Fr Isaac Kofi Amponsah-Boateng, CSSp; Director, Holy Ghost Schools-Makueni, Sultan Hamud, Machakos Diocese)
The Irish born English satirist, Jonathan Swift, once said, “A carpenter is known by his chips.” The Gospel of today confronts us to discover the identity of Jesus Christ in our life. Jesus, at Caeserea Philippi posed the examination question to the disciples: “Who do men say that the Son of man is?”
The disciples were quick to give the opinions of others. The challenge came when the ball was in their court, “But who do you say I am?” There might have been some dead silence before the ‘captain of the school’, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit could reveal Jesus’ identity as the Christ (Anointed). St Paul says “…no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1Cor 12:3). Peter, having revealed the identity of Jesus, also got to know his own identity and responsibilities as Jesus told him, “…you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church”.
If Jesus should give us the same exam question, what will you score? Who is Jesus to you; what kind of image or identity of Christ do you present to people? People will dicover who Jesus is through the way you present your life as a Christian. If you present Christ to others as a deceiver, drunkard, corrupt, adulterous, selfish, etc, they get it like that. So also will people know Christ in you as prayerful, faithful, disciplined, helper, humble, kind, etc if you do so.
Once you discover and live the true identity of Christ, he gives you the assurance to overcome the devil; “the gates of Hades shall not prevail it.” The authority Christ grants to his people is of service not of imposition.
The 1st Reading asserts to that fact. God removed the proud master of the royal palace, Shebna, from office. His power and responsibilities were given to the humble and faithful Eliakim. God detests pride and loves the humility. In His own wisdom, He humbles the proud and raises the humble.
St Paul, in the 2nd Reading, praises God for depth of His wisdom, knowledge and correct judgement, and asserts that God is the source of all authority in heaven and on earth. If the wisdom of God guides us, we will be able to dicover and live the identity of Christ which gives us our identity.
~•For the grace to discover and live the true identity which Christ gives us
~• That Church and world leaders may exercise their responsibilities under God’s wisdom
~•That Christ will be the consoler of all the who have lost hope due to covid 19 pandemic.
Lord hear us