21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 23/8/2020 - Gospel: Mt 16: 13-20
Eternal Key
Locks play a security role in both public and private premises. The lock has evolved from visible to invisible. Today some locks are known as keyless. A password, or personal voice, or finger prints replace a key. A password is an individual self- made key formed by making the combination of letters and numbers. This self- made password can be changed at will. Jesus gave Peter the key to secure the heavenly treasures. The secret of the keyless lock is the password itself; the secret of the eternal key is not on the password, but is deeply buried in the hearts of Jesus' disciples. It is the love that one has for Jesus. People often identified Jesus in one of His roles. Peter alone was able to identify the whole person of Jesus when he responded, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God', Mat 16,17 .  Jesus rewarded Peter with a new name. A name which Jesus built His Church on. This new name revealed Peter's heart, his love 'Rock Solid' for Jesus. Jesus gave him the eternal key to lead God's Church on earth. Peter identified Jesus as 'Son of the living God' and Jesus identified Peter as 'The Rock' of God's Church. 'The Rock' was so firm and solid that even the power of the underworld struggled hard to overcome it in vain. Peter's confession of Jesus as, 'Son of the living God' is God's self- revelation to Peter. Those who make that confession share God's blessings, and become Jesus' disciples. They embrace a new life in Christ. It means a new identity- son or daughter of God. It means a new mission- being an instrument of God's love for others. It means a new future - to live with and for Jesus. People who study about God, but do not love God, are philosophers of religion. Loving God is the key to changing one's life based on the foundation of Jesus' teachings, His death and His resurrection. An eternal key is given to that person and s/he becomes Jesus' disciple. Jesus saves us not because we deserve to be saved, but it is our sincere response to His love, that makes us become God's children. Jesus is the Head of the Church; the Pope and his successors are the custodians of God's Church. Bound by God's love he strive to be most faithful to God, and to serve God's people with a sincere heart. After the Ascension, the Church is guided by the invisible, Third Person of the One Godhead, the Holy Spirit. Communal consensus in reading the signs of the times with constant prayers and discernment helps the Church to move forward. Some are unhappy about it, and have left the Church. Others are unhappy about the government structures of the Church, and again others are demanding drastic change. The Church has constantly experienced both external and internal forces. Chaos after chaos, and yet the Church stands firm as Jesus had predicted. The Church stands firm because it has its foundation not on human wisdom, but on God's love. The universal Church depends on the guidance of the Holy Spirit on her journey. Signs of the times are visible and close to everyone. Everyone shows concern about signs of the times, and yet decoding the hidden heavenly message is a real challenge. Signs of the times are the parables for the modern world. Whatever the communal consensus agreed upon in prayers and discernment, is considered the Spirit working through them. We pray for the custodian of the eternal key.