21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - A  - August 24, 2014

A Matter of Relationship

This Week's Blog:

Most relationships we have with others assume some honesty.  We like to believe that others see us the way we see ourselves, or others will be honest enough with us to mention ways of improvement.  OF course, there are times we need feedback, so we ask:  “How am I doing?”

When Jesus asked his followers a question about his identity, he wasn't asking them for feedback.  Instead, he was asking for honesty.  He wanted to know where they stood.  Did his followers really know him and his mission?  Were they really with him?  Those are questions that are still pertinent with us today.


WEEKLY BLOG LINK How do we define ourselves?

MP3 PODCAST  In this week's audio podcast, Jesus asks his followers the famous question:  “Who do you say I am?”  Once we answer that question in faith, we should ask Jesus a question, “Lord, who do you say we are?”  When we know the answers to those questions, we will know Jesus and our place in the Church.

FIRST READING  How do we know what God will do?  That might seem like a useless question, for we cannot know the mind of God; he does what he wills.  But, we can get hints.  In Isaiah 22, one officer in the king's court was promoted over another; the prophet described the advancement in terms of God's judgment.  The man advanced because he was a virtuous and faithful man.  We, too, are called to be faithful.  In this way, we can learn the will of God.

PSALM  In Psalm 138, the author thanked God for his quick answer to prayer and his presence, even in times of trouble.  YHWH is the God of all, for he is with us, no matter where we are or what shape we're in.

SECOND READING  In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul reminded his audience that God deserved praise because he works in mysterious ways.  His will is beyond us, but his providence always works for our good.

GOSPEL  When they were alone, Jesus asked his followers a simple question:  “Who do you say I am?”  That question from Matthew's gospel has rung down the centuries as THE question of faith.  Answer the question and you will know where you stand with Jesus.  Simon Peter answered the question for most followers:  “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.”  In that answer, Peter defined followers as believers in the Messiah, the Savior.

CHILDREN'S READINGS  In the story for the first reading, the narrative from Isaiah on Shebna and Eliakim is elaborated.  In the story for the Gospel, friendly Sally boosts her team to victory.  But, Sally's real talent was to act as a mirror, to help others see the good they had.  Jesus is our mirror, for he helps us see who we truly are, his children.

FAMILY ACTIVITY  Have a “Silly Fashion Show” for your family, so they can ask questions like:  “How do I look?” and “How am I doing?”  These questions on self image help your family members to understand what Jesus was asking in his question.