Word for Word 8/26/20

Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg
Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg

For your meditation: Isaiah 22-15, 19-23
Romans 11:33-36
Matthew 16:13:20

I hope you are enjoying a peaceful and relaxing summer. Have you been able to assist the people of central Iowa? It’s rewarding be ing Christ-like to them. I know a good friend of mine from Farley, Chris Kleusner, (nephew of Sister Margaret Anne Kramer) took his entire crew and all his construction machinery to Cedar Rapids this past week to help clean up.

Today’s Gospel follows last Sunday’s Gospel and it’s on the same page in the Bible. The Gospel today depicts something much larger that it would seem to be after a mere casual reading.

Up to this point, Jesus has only appeared to be a Rabbi, that is a teacher. His disciple had been following him because they liked what He was teaching.

But now, an ominous moment, a turning point, a watershed event. Making Peter the leader is secondary to the newly revealed identity of Jesus Christ. The apostle learns this day that Jesus is more than an itinerant preacher. He is the Messiah and He is the Son of the living God.

Jesus reveals this truth in good rabbianic style. Jesus is a good teacher. He gets the apostles, especially Peter, thinking about it first, asking pointed questions like, “What are the people saying? Who do they think I am?” And then more pointed, “Who do you say that I am?”

I can see Peter struggling with this question with a look of consternation on his face and his brow wrinkled as if in deep thought. Then the truth hits him like a 1,000 watt floodlight and he blurts out his divinely revealed insight, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

I can talk to you about who Jesus is until I’m blue in the face, and it just might not mean a thing to you.

But if I ask you the question, “Who is Jesus?”, and you struggle for the answer and then you find it inside your heart and your mind. He is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, then you own the truth and you know Jesus the Christ.

Have you allowed Jesus to enter into your being, into your life? Like Shebna and Eliakim in the Old Testament reading, like Peter, in the Gospel, you have the key. What you open no one can shut, and what you shut no one can open. The key opens and shuts your mind, your heart and your soul. Open up, allow it to happen. Who is Jesus Christ to you?

Ole and Pat were talking and Ole said to Pat, “I like you Irish and your wonderful questions but there is one thing I don’t like about you Irish.” Pat asks, “What would that be? I’d like to know Ole.” Ole says, “You Irish always answer a question with a question.” Pat says, “Is that the truth, now Ole? Is that the truth?”

Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg

Rate this article: 
No votes yet