Peter, the Rock, and us

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 16:13-20

We may know so little about Shebna, except that he was the master of the palace who was so irresponsible that he was dismissed from office and Eliakim took his place.  This happened during the reign of Hezekiah of Judah.

Authority or power reflects the very power of God who brings order in his creation.  He also exercises power based on justice and love that brings order to people's lives.

In the Gospel, Jesus gives power to Peter and calls him Rock on which he will build his Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  What made him give this authority to Peter?

First, Peter recognized Jesus as Messiah - the main message here is how much do we know about Jesus? Enough to leave everything behind, sell all riches and give them to the poor, and come follow him?  If we truly know who Jesus is, it would be very easy for us to follow him and be active in his Church.  For Jesus is the very strength of the Church.  The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Second, Peter was entrusted the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven itself!  This is a great privilege indeed!  But the key represents the power of the Church to loose and to bind; to forgive or not.  Remember on the power of Jesus to save or to redeem.  Now, remember our power to bring people to salvation.  But are we using our power to save?

It's an invitation for all of us to deepen our relationship with Jesus.  Then we shall know every nook and corner of our personhood and the authority given to us, the power to redeem people in Jesus Christ.