Homily: Keys of the Kingdom

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Homily 21st Sunday Ordinary Time year A August 26/27 2017

The question that Jesus asks Peter in the Gospel today is a good question for us to answer as well. Who do you say that Jesus is? Do you call Him a friend, or a brother, or Lord? Do you call Him the Child Jesus and love Christmas most of all? Is he a peacemaker, a healer, a wise man? The answer of course is He is all of the above. But the way we answer that question on a personal level, reveals more about who we are, than who God is. If, for us, Jesus is a peacemaker, then chances are we are people who believe that peace is desperately needed in our lives, our families, and in this world.

Jesus asks Peter this question to reveal to Peter, to all the disciples, and to us, what exactly Peter believes. And what we believe affects how we live! Our beliefs about Christ affect our thoughts, actions, and decisions as we go about our day. Our beliefs mold us into the person that God wants us to be and reveal our purpose and mission in the church and in the world.

After Peter answered the question, Jesus entrusted him with the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus gave Peter a mission, to be the leader of the 12 disciples, the first Pope, the leader of the church throughout the world. Peter was not chosen because he answered the question perfectly or because he was perfect, but because his belief showed Jesus that, despite his imperfections, he would do what it takes to lead the church towards God.

Jesus has given each of us keys as well. He has entrusted us with a mission and purpose, great or small, both in the church and in the world.

In prayer, God asks each of us, who do we say that He is? When we learn how to answer, we learn how to listen and to obey His will in our lives. Then, we ask for the courage to accept this mission, to take the keys entrusted to us, and in our own unique way, to bring the love of God into the church, and to everyone we meet throughout our days.

3 thoughts on “Homily: Keys of the Kingdom”

    1. Yeah it’s a fine line. Jesus is everything and all but often we focus on an aspect of Jesus, which teaches us something about ourselves, and how the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives. We are only a part in the body of Christ; what part are we? Jesus needs to be Lord for all of us, but we can also call Jesus our teacher, our healer, etc. This can reveal what part of the body of Christ we are. Make sense?

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      1. Or focus on the part that we are comfortable with….. yes. Interesting. And perhaps those parts that we are less comfortable with is where our learning and our Growth cost us some struggle. Most of us embrace a very “user friendly” version of Christ. The guy that loves us, helps us, is there for us. I think generally speaking we are much less comfortable with the Jesus who gave up everything, stood for truth even when it wasn’t convenient, and walked among lepers, the poor, the gentiles, and the outcasts. And what stands out to me especially right now … the Jesus who did not separate people by race.

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