Weekend of 27 August 2017

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time | Year A

Matt 16:13-20

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you, ‘he said, ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ, ‘he said, ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So now I say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ Then he gave the disciples strict orders not to tell anyone he was the Christ. 


Each of us has a unique role in the mission of Jesus and his Church. Our role may not be as prominent as that of Peter who became the first pope, but our role is both unique and necessary to the overall mission. We are all pieces of the jigsaw, each of us a small but essential part of the whole mission. 

Peter would not have understood his mission fully on the day Jesus told him he was to be the rock on which Jesus would build his Church. It must have taken many years for Peter to develop some understanding of those words. As the Church grew in numbers and expanded geographically Peter fulfilled his unique mission by daily doing the tasks that his discernment told him were part of his leadership role.
We should ask Jesus to help us to fulfil our part of his mission every day, in the daily events of our lives and in the place we have been called to be. We need this guidance because it is easy for ambition and ego-centrism to drive us towards claiming a dramatic and highly visible role. There can also be a temptation to take over other people’s roles and neglect our own. Some understanding of our particular role in the bigger mission helps guard against these temptations.
The uniqueness of our personal part of the mission of Jesus is part of our uniqueness as a person. When we “fit” into the bigger jigsaw there is a deep peace and joy which remains despite the troubles and difficulties of life. 
This peace comes from our daily acceptance of God’s will for us, just as it did for Peter.