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Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Matthew 16:13-20

When Jesus told Peter that it was his faith that would be the rock upon which he would build his Church, he was looking at a lot of rock.  He had taken the disciples up north to Caesarea Philippi, where a huge rock formation served as the Roman shrine for the vicious god Pan (later transformed by J.M.Barrie as the benign Peter Pan).

The Master Teacher used these surroundings to tell Peter― Petra, or Rock―that it was rock-hard faith that would be the foundation and sign of the Christian in the world.  The faith of the Christian should be as powerful as the collision of the continents that formed the earth as we know it today.

You wanna see some rocks?  Visit some of the awesome national parks that are part of the Colorado Plateau.  Thirty million years ago, the largest rock formation on earth (130,000 square-miles) was one piece.  But the forces of water and time gradually carved out the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, the great stone Arches of southern Utah, and the awesome Grand Canyon. 

And of course these rocks hold secrets, mind-boggling secrets about vast underground bodies of water, the migration routes of the First Peoples of our continent 13,000 years ago, and even of the beginnings of life which the Master Designer breathed into the world so very long ago.

All this makes me wonder about what archaeologists thousands of years from now will say about us.  See here?  These path makers of peace, these missionaries of friendship and hope, these people who chose love over hate and thus saved the world?  They call themselves Christians.  And the gates of hell have not prevailed against them.

How is time turning you into a greater Christian?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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