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HomeHomilySunday Homily - 27 August 2023

Sunday Homily – 27 August 2023

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Also Read: Mass Readings for 27 August 2023 Mass Reading Reflection for 27 August 2023

Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-20

Jesus is repeating the same question to each one of us, “But who do you say that I am?” Back then the people tried to fit him into a list of prophets of their past. Today the world has included him in many other lists worth not mentioning. It is not easy to ignore him and move forward. So, the world tries to fit him into a convenient list.

St. Peter had the unique privilege of recognizing Jesus as the “Son of the living God.”  That was a revelation he received, and that made him the rock Jesus was looking forward to.

‘Rock’ was an unfitting name for Peter as per his character revealed in the Gospels. There were fewer characters as shaky as Peter.

He would jump out of the boat to walk on water with Jesus but an instant later shaken with a wave. In a few minutes, he went on to the brim of drowning.

In the passage following today’s gospel, we see Jesus foretelling His death and resurrection. We see Peter there, calling Jesus aside and rebuking Jesus! He assumed authority over Jesus to tell him that it was not going to happen. Jesus called him Satan and asked him to move aside from his path. He was shaken hearing Jesus foretelling his passion and death.

At the last supper, he declared he would not part with Jesus even if it meant death. But, within hours he denied him when he was challenged by a woman at the gate of the chief priest.  He did not grow up to the new nickname rock but behaved like shaky dust.

Jesus called Peter knowing him well in advance. He knew Peter was shaken to see the strong winds and the accompanying waves. He knew Peter would be frightened to know of the cross that awaited Jesus. He knew that Peter would deny him thrice before a fragile gatekeeper. Yet he called him Peter and selected him to be the rock on which Jesus would build his Church.

Jesus does not call the qualified, but he qualifies the called. Peter was not called because he was as strong as a rock, but he was called to be the strong rock. Jesus made him the strong rock that carried the Church.

You are called. You are called to be a rock. You are called to be a rock for your family. You are called to be a rock for your colleagues and friends. You are called to be firm and strong to carry the responsibility. You are called and selected by God to be what you are.

Be the strong father or mother you are called to be. Be the good sibling or friend you are called to be. Be strong enough to carry your responsibilities no matter what you are. You may be asked to walk on water one day. Walk with a firm grip on Jesus. When you are to carry the cross, carry it with Jesus. Because you can’t cross the gates of heaven without carrying your cross.

If Peter could eventually transform into the rock Jesus wanted him to be, you too can be what Jesus wants of you. With a firm grip on Jesus, you can be what Jesus wants you to be. Always be in touch with Jesus through the word of God and prayer, and be yourself. 


Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Hello, I am Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI, a Catholic priest belonging to the Indian Carmelite order, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), founded by three pious 19th-century priests: Fr. Thomas Palackal, Fr. Thomas Porukara, and St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Currently, I work as a missionary priest working in Peru. May God bless you all!

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