He said to them, “but who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” – Mt 16: 15-17
A Reflection on the Reading for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 27, 2023
To put this question from Jesus into perspective, I suggest we start with the second reading for this Sunday. Here we see Paul bursting out in jubilant excitement and exaltation over the wisdom of God. Paul not only presents to us the greatness of the wisdom of God but also His sovereignty over all creation. The Lord’s plans are marvelous as his wisdom, acts, and justice; his designs and profound doings are vast. God’s creation is immeasurable, and its wisdom is unsearchable. God alone possesses wisdom in the absolute sense. Paul presents to us the Creator not created by anyone, the Counselor not counseled by anyone, and the one whose ways, methods, and designs are obviously different from ours.
Then the first reading gives us an example of God’s wisdom, his power over all sovereignty, and every throne and kingdom. In his wise judgment, he reduces the proud and wicked-hearted while exalting the lowly and faithful. We learn that Shebna was dethroned because of his pride, wickedness, and lack of obedience to the ordinances of the Almighty God. Shebna is replaced, and God elevates the humble Eliakim to the throne. This is a foreshadowing as Eliakim becomes a prophecy of the Messiah, the humble one who will displace the wicked and be elevated to the throne.
Then to see if we were paying attention, the Gospel poses the question: How do we see God, and how great is our God? This is the question we must ask ourselves today! Do we go with what everyone else wants to tell us? Or do we look within ourselves for the answer? To realize how great he is, we must seek him sincerely. As humans, as his children, we cannot fathom his greatness, but just as children grow in knowledge and understanding, we learn as he reveals Himself to us and those who seek him in truth and honesty. He has done this in and through Jesus Christ, but only those who humbly allow the eyes of their mind to be illuminated by the Holy Spirit; it is then that we will see and know him.
This week let us set aside what the world wants us to believe and contemplate more humbly who Jesus is to each of us!
Deacon Jeff Borski
Reference: Copyright LPI
Author: Deacon Jeff Borski, Sacred Heart Catholic Church & School-Conroe