Theme of the Sunday: Faith in Christ, the Rock On Which the Church is Founded. We find the theme of this Sunday in the gospel: faith in Christ, Son of the living God, is the foundation of the Church. The first reading is but a comment and explains the symbolism of the keys and clarifies how authority should be understood. The second reading can be seen in the light of this theme because it presents the mysterious ways God intervenes in the history of humanity, the way he uses to lead us to discover the identity of Jesus of Nazareth.
Entrance Antiphon cf. Ps 85:1-3
Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me; save the servant who trusts in you, my God. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I cry to you all the day long.
O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found. Through our Lord…
“I place the key of the house of David upon his shoulder.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah22:19-23)
Thus says the Lord to Shebna, who is over the household: “I will thrust you from your office, and you will be cast down from your station. In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your belt on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honour to his father’s house.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 138:1-2a.2bcd-3.6 and 8bc (R. 8bc)
R/. O Lord, your merciful love is eternal; Discard not the work of your hands.
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I praise you.
I bow down towards your holy temple. R.
I give thanks to your name
For your merciful love and your faithfulness.
You have exalted your name and your promise over all.
On the day I called, you answered me;
You increased the strength of my soul. R.
The Lord is high, yet he looks on the lowly,
and the haughty he knows from afar.
O Lord, your merciful love is eternal;
discard not the work of your hands. R.
“From him and through him and to him are all things.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans 11:33-36)
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
The word of the Lord
Alleluia. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Alleluia.
“You are Peter. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 16:13-20)
At that time: When Jesus came into the district of Caesare a Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus cannot be known according to the categories of the world. True knowledge of Jesus comes only to those whose minds are open to the spirit. Jesus promised to build his church on the strong foundation of Peter’s faith. It is the faith that dispenses the mysteries of the kingdom according to God’s plan. Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were given the opportunity to be God for a day? What would you use the powers and authority of God to do: to support the life of others or to frustrate it? Whoever has been given such and similar tasks must pray to have a heart that is open to mystery. As Jesus told Peter, the mysteries of the kingdom of God are not matters relating to flesh and blood; they are revealed to us only through the spirit of God.