Gospel Meditations

GOSPEL MEDITATION FOR
29 JUNE, 2017, THURSDAY OF THE 12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
BY REV FR ERBIN FERNANDEZ & CSC TEAM
COPYRIGHTS RESERVED.

“BLESSED ARE YOU, SIMON SON OF JONAH” (MATTHEW 16:17)

GOSPEL: MATTHEW 16:13-19

http://www.universalis.com/20170629/mass.htm

(I sense Jesus wanting to meet me. I prayerfully call upon the Holy Spirit to be present. I prayerfully read today’s gospel passage slowly once through. I sit in silence for a few minutes with the gospel text. I now pray through the following meditation. I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, pausing wherever I need to.)

`This passage is taken by the Roman Catholic Church to mean that to Peter were given the keys which admit or exclude a man from heaven, and that to Peter was given the power to absolve or not to absolve a man from his sins. It is further argued by the Roman Catholic Church that Peter, with these tremendous rights, became the bishop of Rome; and that this power descended to all the bishops of Rome; and that it exists today in the Pope, who is the head of the Church and the Bishop of Rome. There is a play on words. In Greek Peter is Petros and a rock is petra. Peter’s Aramaic name was Kephas, and that also is the Aramaic for a rock. In either language there is here a play upon words. Immediately Peter had made his great discovery and confession, Jesus said to him: “You are petros, and on this petraI will build my Church.” Whatever else this is, it is a word of tremendous praise. It is a metaphor which is by no means strange or unusual to Jewish thought. The Rabbis applied the word rock to Abraham. They had a saying: “When the Holy One saw Abraham who was going to arise, he said, ‘Lo, I have discovered a rock (petra) to found the world upon.’ Therefore he called Abraham rock (tsuwr), as it is said: ‘Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.’” Abraham was the rock on which the nation and the purpose of God were founded.

One thing is clear. To call anyone a rock was the greatest of compliments; and no Jew who knew his Old Testament could ever use the phrase without his thoughts turning to God, who alone was the true rock of his defence and salvation. What then did Jesus mean when in this passage he used the word rock? To that question at least four answers have been given. Augustine took the rock to mean Jesus himself. It is as if Jesus said: “You are Peter; and on myself as rock I will found my Church; and the day will come when, as the reward of your faith, you will be great in the Church.” The second explanation is that the rock is the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. To Peter that great truth had been divinely revealed. The fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is indeed the foundation stone of the Church’s faith and belief, but it hardly seems to bring out the play on words which is here. The third explanation is that the rock is Peter’s faith. On the faith of Peter the Church is founded. That faith was the spark which was to kindle the faith of the world-wide Church. It was the initial impetus which was one day to bring the universal Church into being. The last interpretation is still the best. It is that Peter himself is the rock, but in a special sense. He is not the rock on which the Church is founded; that rock is God. He is the first stone of the whole Church. Peter was the first man on earth to discover who Jesus was; he was the first man to make the leap of faith and see in him the Son of the living God. In other words, Peter was the first member of the Church, and, in that sense, the whole Church is built on him. It is as if Jesus said to Peter: “Peter, you are the first man to grasp who I am; you are therefore the first stone, the foundation stone, the very beginning of the Church which I am founding.” And in ages to come, everyone who makes the same discovery as Peter is another stone added into the edifice of the Church of Christ.`1

Have I made that discovery for myself that I am part of the `living stones` that make up the Church that was founded on Jesus Christ and His apostles? If I have then I am also clear about the mission that God has called me to!

Action: Today I will meditate on the great mission that Jesus has called me to do

(I journal: What phrase touched me today? What is Jesus inviting me to live today? I ask for a specific grace for today.)

1https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/matthew-16.html

GOSPEL MEDITATION FOR
28 JUNE, 2017, WEDNESDAY, 12th WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
BY REV FR ERBIN FERNANDEZ & CSC TEAM
COPYRIGHTS RESERVED.

“Before of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but underneath are ravenous wolves”. Matt 7:15

GOSPEL: Matt 7:15-20

http://www.universalis.com/20170628/mass.htm

(I sense Jesus wanting to meet me. I prayerfully call upon the Holy Spirit to be present. I prayerfully read today’s gospel passage slowly once through. I sit in silence for a few minutes with the gospel text. I now pray through the following meditation. I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, pausing wherever I need to.)

Today many people feel that the Church, which is meant to be broad-minded and welcoming, has become intolerant. Whether it is disciplining liberal minded people in the church or standing up for moral doctrines, the Church wants to hunt down everyone who don’t agree with church teaching. Not only is this narrow-minded aggression un-Catholic, it’s downright unpatriotic. Why does the church hunt down people who think differently instead of welcoming them?

The church has recognized, from the beginning, that certain doctrines are repugnant to its own essential nature, or contradictory to the revelation upon which the Church is constructed. This is precisely why, for the past two millennia, theologians, bishops, Popes and councils have consistently and strenuously battled heresies concerning central Catholic dogmas. They have understood that the adoption of these errors would fatally compromise the integrity of the Church. A church that simply “welcomed” heresies would, overnight, cease to be itself.

These so called prophets of these heresies appear harmless, yet their ministry breeds error, division and immorality. They confuse the thinking and beliefs of the people. They appear to love the Lord and his church but slowly knowingly or even unknowingly deviate from the teachings.

One can learn a lot from the ministry of Judas and his motivations from the four Gospels. It seems that for Judas the Lord Jesus was a disappointment, a false Messiah, because he would not manifest his power in worldliness, in accord with Judas’ expectations. Judas wanted the Lord Jesus to act in accord with his expectations, which were worldly expectations serving desires for wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. For Judas, the Lord Jesus was merely a tool, a means to his own ends, a ladder that he would climb to achieve his own success.

Judas, angry and disappointed that Christ the Lord would not conform to his expectations, sought to punish the Lord Jesus in the most humiliating and cruel way he could devise.

The false prophet refuses to love what Christ loves and serve what Christ serves. The tragedy is that Judas destroyed not Christ, but himself.

How often do we treat the Lord Jesus as merely a tool, a means to get something that we want? Do we plot and conspire to use Christ the Lord and his Church as a means to advance our petty causes and worldly agendas?

Here is a question we must each ask ourselves: What are our own refusals to love what Christ loves and serve what Christ serves doing to our own lives and the lives of others?

Action: Today I will pray for the grace to love what Christ loves and serve what Christ serves.

(I journal: What phrase touched me today? What is Jesus inviting me to live today? I ask for a specific grace for today.)