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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Keys to the Kingdom

Today's readings are taken from:
Isaiah 22: 19-23
Psalm 138: 1-2a,2b-3, 6-8
Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans  11: 33-36
Gospel according to Matthew 16: 13-20

I remember the first time I was given my own set of house keys. As a teenager, I needed to be able to unlock our front door for my younger brother and I on those days when my Mom was helping a neighbor in need. My Mom was a nurse and she often spent time helping an elderly neighbor who didn't have family nearby to care for them. I was really excited about those keys; I knew I was responsible for being sure not to lose them. Those keys meant that I was responsible for getting my brother and I safely into the house when Mom was helping elsewhere.

Receiving the keys is a theme for this Sunday's readings. The reading from Isaiah tells us of the removal of King David's steward Shebnah and the transfer of authority to Eliakim as master of David's palace. "I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.” With the giving and receiving of the keys, great responsibility is given.

Then we "fast forward" to the Gospel of Matthew. Again we read about the giving of keys, this time to Peter. Jesus is giving authority to Peter, the rock. Peter has responded to Jesus' question: Who do YOU say I am, by answering, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Peter will become the leader of the New Covenant. "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." And so our Catholic, Apostolic Church was being born and Jesus says to Peter (and to us) "I will build my Church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." Did you know that of all four gospels, only Matthew used the word CHURCH.

As I have been thinking about the authority given to Peter, I am drawn into the authority of our Church. Peter's successors will endure as long as the kingdom; through them we have teaching authority, forgiveness, the Church hierarchy, the Magisterium, etc. The earthly authority of the Church, comes directly from Jesus, the Christ. Sometimes, I get a bit frustrated with the institution, but I know that the authority of God works through our human frailty.

Therefore these words from the Our Father prayer are a beautiful reminder to me. "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." As Fr. Hamm said, "entering that kingdom on earth does eventually lead to entering the divine realm we call Heaven, but the authority given to Peter is a power that he exercises on earth."
And so together lets pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Peace and Blessings,Judy

1 comment:

  1. "I get a bit frustrated with the institution..."

    It is true, and that always brings to mind the 2 Corinthians passage where Paul explains the "Paradox of the Ministry (as the NABRE translations heads the passage). "We hold these treasures in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair..".


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