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常年期第21主日 HOMILY 21st Sunday OT A August 27, 2023


21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Cantonese Chinese Community – 08 27 2023

Fr. Anson Antony 


We might call this Sunday “Power Sunday” because the main theme of all three readings is that God is the Source of all authority. God shares His authority with civil rulers elected to serve the people and with the Pope and the other Church leaders for the material and spiritual welfare of His children. Today’s Gospel challenges us to accept the authority of Jesus as our Lord and Savior as St. Peter did at Caesarea Philippi.

The first reading, taken from Isaiah, tells us how God hates unfaithful and selfish officials. He removed the proud “master of the royal palace” from his office, taking from Shebna the power and responsibility of which he had proven unworthy, and gave both to the humble and faithful Eliakim. The robe, the sash, and the keys are the insignia of this office. In today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 138), David thanks God for having raised him from lowly origins and given him authority as king over the people of Israel. In the second reading, St. Paul praises God for the depth of His wisdom, knowledge, and correct judgments, asserting that He is the Source of all authority on earth and in Heaven. Today’s Gospel passage shows us how Peter confesses Jesus as his Lord and Savior and how Jesus, in turn, approves Peter’s words and gives him teaching and ruling authority in his Church. Thus, Jesus established a “Magisterium” in his Church to serve the spiritual and physical needs of the Church members. By Jesus’ statement, “I will give you the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,” he gives Peter and his successors the power to bind and to loose (make laws; exercise authority) in the Church, and the assurance that their decisions will be ratified in Heaven.

First of all, my brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to accept Jesus as our Lord and personal Savior: Jesus is not merely the founder of a new religion, a revolutionary Jewish reformer, or one of the great teachers. For Christians, he is the Son of God and our personal Savior. This means that we must see Jesus as the Good Shepherd, the Savior, and the Redeemer. He is our beloved Friend, closer to us than our dear ones, and a living experience, who walks with us, loves us, forges us, helps us, and transforms our lives and outlook. We must give all areas of our lives to him. He must have a say in our daily lives, and we must radiate all around us his sacrificial agápe love, unconditional forgiveness, overflowing mercy, and committed service. The joy, love, and peace we find in Jesus should be reflected in how we live our lives.

Secondly, we need to experience Jesus as our Lord and Savior and surrender our lives to him. The knowledge of Jesus as Lord and personal Savior should become a living, personal experience for each Christian. This is made possible by our listening to Jesus through the daily, meditative reading of the Bible, by our talking to Jesus through daily, personal, and communal prayers, by our offering our lives on the altar with Jesus whenever we attend Holy Mass, and by our leading a Sacramental life. The next step is the surrender of our lives to Jesus by rendering humble, loving service to Him in Himself and in all others, with the strong conviction that Jesus is present in every person. The step after that is to praise and thank God in all the events of our lives, both pleasant and painful, realizing that God’s loving hands are behind everything.

To conclude today's reflection let me tell a story: This story is about the pencil. The pencil maker took the pencil aside, just before putting it into the box. “There are five things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be. One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand. Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil. Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make. Four: The most important part of you will always be what is inside. And Five: On every surface on which you are used, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.” — The same applies to each one of us too. When we find an answer to Jesus’ question (“Who do you say that I am?”), we will be able to make ourselves useful to our contemporaries. We have to undergo the process that the pencil undergoes. One: We will be able to do many great things, but only if we allow ourselves to be held in God’s hand, and allow other human beings access to the many gifts we possess. Two: We will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but we’ll need it to become stronger as a person. Three: We will be able to correct any mistakes we might make. Four: The most important part of us will always be what’s on the inside. And Five: On every surface we walk through, we must leave our mark. No matter what the situation, we must continue to do our duties to the best of our abilities.




常年期(甲年)第二十一主日 (08/27/2023)

讀經一: 依撒意亞先知書: 22:19-23
讀經二: 聖保祿宗徒致羅馬人書: 11:33-36
聖瑪竇福音: 16:13-20


讀經一取自依撒意亞先知書,告訴我們天主如何憎惡不忠和自私的官員。他解除了驕傲的宮廷長舍布納的職務,從他手中奪走了已證明他不配獲得的權力和責任,並將兩者交給了謙卑而忠誠的厄里雅金。長袍、腰帶和鑰匙是這職務的標記。在今天的答唱詠 (#138)中,達味感謝天主將他從出身卑微中提拔出來,並賜給他作為以色列王者的權柄。在讀經二中,聖保祿讚美上主的睿智、知識和正確的判斷,並宣稱衪是上天
下地一切權柄的源頭。今天的福音經文向我們展示了伯多祿如何承認耶穌是他的主和救主,而耶穌又如何認可伯多祿的話,並賦予他教導和治理教會的權柄。這樣,耶穌在衪的教會中建立了 "教權",以滿足教會成員的精神和身體需求。耶穌說:"我會給你天國的鑰匙",祂賦予伯多祿和他的繼承者在教會中束縛和釋放(制定法律;行使職權) 的權力,並保證他們的決定將得到天上的認許。




這同樣適用於我們每個人。當我們要找出耶穌提問 (你說我是誰?)的答案時,我們可把自己代入成這枝鉛筆,就會覺得這個比擬蠻有意義,我們必須經歷鉛筆所經歷的過程。