1. Is 22:19-23
2.Rom 11: 33-36
3. Mt16:13-20


In life we have got expectations, such expectations are like to have good life in future, to have good political leaders who will find the right answers to our problems and challenges etc. We have expectations of what will the school teacher say,  what will our leaders in both government and institutions say etc.  

At the time of Jesus the Jews had also expectations of what a Messiah should  be like, and what he should do and say. Majority expected him to solve their political problems, furthermore, they believed that  through the Messiah God would once again intervene and give them back  control of Palestine which had been taken over by the Romans in 63 BC. For many centuries before that, the land of Palestine had been under foreign control , really since 587 BC when Babylon conquered Jerusalem. With that in mind there has been a deep longing for centuries to have independence and self govenment. They believed that the Messiah would be military commander who would head rebellion against the occupation of their land. Jesus idea of what a Messiah is was completely different to the expectations  of his contemporaries, he did not encourage conflict/ warfare, instead he said " blessed  are the gentle they shall inherit the Earth............. blessed are the peace makers, they shall be called sons of God.

We can understand why Jesus' contemporaries did not think he was the Messiah because he was not doing or saying things they expected the Messiah would. What enabled Peter to recognize that Jesus was more than a man of flesh and blood? through the gift of faith Peter recognized that Jesus was the annointed one. We cannot recognize the true reality of God the Father and only begotten son except through the gift of revelation  which God gives to those who seek him. Jesus then conferred on Peter authority to govern the church that Jesus would build, a church that no powers could overcome.

The New Testament describes the church , the people of God as a spiritual house and temple of the holy spirit with each member joined togather as the living stones ( 1Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks- spritual stones. The Lord Jesus tests each of us personally with the same question  " who do you say that I am??" It is not that easy to catch the proper meaning of the word, it is generally  held that peter is the solid rock on which the church is built, yet this is not only interpretation. In other New testament  texts it is clearly stated that the rock that God made the foundation of the Church is Christ himself ( Peter2:4-6: Eph2:20 and the name given  to Simon, Kepha- Peter, in the language of Jesus does not mean a rock, it means a purely building stone.

Jesus when saying " on this rock I will build my Church" is referring  to the faith consists the solid foundation of the church . All people who profess that faith become part of that building that will never fall ( Jesus the son of the living God). We see that in this gospel discourse, Peter is given keys and power to bind and loose. The images describe the authority to transmitt to others the teachings of Christ  and Judge what agrees with the Gospel and what is contrary to it. Peter who has just confessed his faith in Christ represents the apostles and all Christians who profess the same faith.

From the 2nd reading  ( Rom 11:33-36) we see the Jew's refusal to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. We have seen how advantageous  was this refusal??? the pagans were allowed to enter the church. The Persecutions begun by jews forced the disciples to reach out to the Pagans. Seeing the ability of God to control history and find good even in evil, Paul exclaims.

Thus as we celebrate the 21st Sunday  of the year ordinary time, we are invited to be all unity in body and spirit, and thus profess the same faith in Christ that  he is  the son of the living God, furthermore, we are all called to maintain the church's unity founded on Peter

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Chapisha Maoni