Twenty First Sunday Reflections
Andre Ampere was a great French scientist and a Nobel prize laureate. He made remarkable contributions in the field of Mathematics, Physics, and Electrical Engineering. Once in a meeting that was held to congratulate the famous scientist Andre Ampere, a speaker asked him:” Hai Mr. Ampere, what is the greatest knowledge that you appreciate the most? “ In his reply the great scientist and a practicing Catholic scholar Ampere replied: "The greatest knowledge that I ever possess in my life is to find out that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the entire world and my personal God." In today’s Gospel we see Peter making his confession of faith at Caesarea Philippi. " Jesus, you’re the Christ, the Messiah and the son of the living God". It is a moment for all of us to reflect and realize "who Jesus is in our life".
The 21st Sunday is also called Power Sunday. The power and authority over the people are given to certain people by divine design to support the integral well being of the people of God. In the first reading from the book of Isaiah we see God removing an unfaithful and selfish and corrupt official by name Shebna and replacing him by lifting up a humble and faithful person named Eliakim. In the second reading St. Paul states that God is the source of all authority on earth and in heaven. In the Gospel passage from Matthew we see Jesus elevating Peter as a specially blessed person on whom the Heavenly Father was pleased to reveal the identity of Jesus as the Christ, the chosen one and savior of the world. The Lord Jesus was also telling Peter that he would build his Church on the strong bedrock foundation of Peter. We all know that Peter in himself was not a very strong and courageous man ; he even was frightened when adverse things happened. Yet , the Lord chose him and blessed him and that is the reason for his strength and stability. Once he was Simon (meaning ‘reed’ the tiny plant on the bank of the river always moving when wind comes). But Jesus made him Peter (meaning ‘Rock’ denoting firmness, courage and determination). The Lord also gives him the keys of teaching and governing authority in the Church. More over he is given the power to bind and loose (make laws and exercise authority on earth, which heaven will ratify)and the power to absolve or not to absolve a man from his sins. Biblical scholars and the Church historians base this text as the foundation of the “primacy of Peter and his successors as the head of the Church. The Acts of the Apostles and the early Church Fathers testify the primacy of Peter. Let us be faithful to the Church led by and designed by our Lord Jesus for the salvation of the humanity. Also let us be instrumental in bringing the unity of the entire Christians under the authority of the holy father and the entire humanity to the Heavenly Father .