We might call this Sunday “Power Sunday” because the main theme of all three readings is that God is the Source of all authority. God shares His authority with civil rulers elected to serve the people and with the Pope and the other Church leaders for the material and spiritual welfare of His children. Today’s Gospel challenges us to accept the authority of Jesus as our Lord and Savior as St. Peter did at Caesarea Philippi.

 Scripture lessons summarized: The first reading, taken from Isaiah, tells us how God hates unfaithful and selfish officials. He removed the proud “master of the royal palace” from his office, taking from Shebna the power and responsibility of which he had proven unworthy, and gave both to the humble and faithful Eliakim. The robe, the sash, and the keys are the insignia of this office. In today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 138), David thanks God for having raised him from lowly origins and given him authority as king over the people of Israel. In the second reading, St. Paul praises God for the depth of His wisdom, knowledge, and correct judgments, asserting that He is the Source of all authority on earth and in Heaven. Today’s Gospel passage shows us how Peter confesses Jesus as his Lord and Savior and how Jesus, in turn, approves Peter’s words and gives him teaching and ruling authority in his Church. Thus, Jesus establishes a “Magisterium” in his Church to serve the spiritual and physical needs of the Church members. By Jesus’ statement, “I will give you the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,” he gives Peter and his successors the power to bind and to loose (make laws; exercise authority) in the Church, and the assurance that their decisions will be ratified in Heaven.

 Life messages:

1) We need to accept and experience Jesus as our Lord and personal Savior: First, we should accept Jesus as the Son of God and our personal Savior. This means that we are accepting Jesus as our Good Shepherd, our Divine Savior, and our Redeemer. Next, Jesus should become a living experience for us – as our God protecting us and providing for us in our life’s journey, loving us, forgiving us, helping us, and transforming our lives and outlook. This is made possible by our listening to Jesus through the daily, meditative reading of the Bible, by talking to Jesus through daily, personal, communal and liturgical prayers, by offering our lives on the altar with Jesus whenever we participate in the Holy Mass, by receiving him in Holy Communion, and by leading exemplary lives, as we cooperate with God’s grace. Our personal experience of Jesus will also lead us to praise and thank God in all the events of our lives, both pleasant, and painful, realizing that God’s loving hands are behind everything.

2) We need to surrender our lives to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. That surrender requires that we freely give all areas of our lives to Jesus and radiate to all around us Jesus’ sacrificial agápe love, uncondition- al forgiveness, overflowing mercy, and committed service. The joy, the love, and the peace that we find in Jesus need to be reflected in the way we live our whole lives. We also surrender our lives to Jesus by  rendering humble, loving service to others with the strong conviction that Jesus is present in every person.

Fr. Sebastian

Just ask Fr. Sebastian

Do you have questions, comments or thoughts about what Fr. Sebastian wrote?  Maybe you even have a different question or just wanted to ask something that has been on your mind? Fr. Sebastian welcome’s your thoughts, questions or comments. Simply fill out the form below and your message will be submitted directly to him and he’ll get back with you.

Ask Fr. Sebastian