Holy Cross Catholic Church

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 23, 2020

Dear friends,

Today’s gospel brings to our attention Jesus’ question to His disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of man is?” “But who do you say that I am?” Peter’s response is well known and like him, our resounding response is “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Like Peter’s response, we can see Jesus commending our own response. Nevertheless, there is another question that follows and that could be extracted from Jesus’ promise to Peter and to all of us: “Is it enough to just say “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God?”

To this question the response is a resounding “No.” Christ himself made it clear when He said: “It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord”, who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Christ always insisted on the relationship or connection between faith and action, between believing and acting (living up the requirements of our faith). He always sent His disciples to bear witness, to teach, and to be witnesses to the kingdom by their lives. “By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples” (John 13:35). In the same way, we see Him insisting in today’s gospel on that connection. After commending Peter’s response, Christ goes on to point to the true meaning of the profession: the responsibility to build the kingdom of God which will resist the powers of darkness. The challenge for every Christian is the connection between our utterance about Christ and our every day’s life in faith. Christ insists on the way we must make tangible our proclamation of Him as the Son of the living God to those around us. What does it mean for you today to say that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God and make it meaningful as well as appealing to people who happen to encounter us? What would we put in the basket we call “Christ, the Son of the living God” if we could once imagine Christ to be a basket? For He says, “God, …, make disciples of all the nations;… and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

In the present context of our world and our country, let us reflect on the question of the relationship or the connection that should exist in our daily life between our proclamation of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God and the ways we make it tangible in our daily life. To put it otherwise, let us strive to give flesh to our proclamation by being the sacraments of God’s love, mercy, and compassion in the world, as we proclaim the Gospel to others, we invite them to encounter the Lord in their daily lives. And let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.

Fr. Emery


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