Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Second Reading: Extracted from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 11:33-36
How rich are the depths of God – how deep his wisdom and knowledge – and how impossible to penetrate his motives or understand his methods!
Who could ever know the mind of the Lord?
Who could ever be his counsellor?
Who could ever give him anything or lend him anything?
All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him.
To him be glory for ever! Amen.
Compare the above mentioned with what has been written by the same Saint Paul in I Corinthians 2: 10b-16 below:
10b “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:19
God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,
and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.
And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Gospel Reading: Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 16:13-20
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’
And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’
‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’
Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said, ‘the Son of the living God.’
Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’
Then he gave the disciples strict orders not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
It was the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time on 24 August 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on that day are shown in the previous page & above:
First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23,
Responsorial: Psalm 138:1-3, 6, 8,
Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36 &
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-20.
We have extracted the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
The Pope is the “Servant of the servants of God”. The Virgin Mary is the royal servant of love. All the Saints behave as God’s faithful servants.
Jesus, do you know that there are people who claimed that they are closest to You but behave exactly like Your Boss “老板” ? Let me check if I am also like them?
The Pope's duty is a service to the Church and to humanity; this is why since ancient times he has been known as "Servus servorum Dei - Servant of the servants of God".
Today the liturgical calendar also invites us to honour Mary under the title of "Queen". This glorious title in a certain sense completes the image of Mary which last Sunday's liturgy offered us on the Solemnity of the Assumption. In fact, in order to understand properly Mary's royal prerogative we must not forget that there is a Christian meaning of royalty which is very different from the earthly images of power. This is a royal service of love which passes through the Cross (cf. John 18:33-37), before becoming radiant in the Resurrection. - Saint Pope John Paul II
JOHN PAUL II
22 August 1999
Honour Blessed Virgin as Queen
1. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples: "Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Simon Peter answers him: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). Peter's answer contains the very heart of Christianity. On it rests the service to faith and unity that Peter and his successors are called to give, in accordance with Jesus' words: "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). The Pope's duty is a service to the Church and to humanity; this is why since ancient times he has been known as "Servus servorum Dei - Servant of the servants of God".
2. Today the liturgical calendar also invites us to honour Mary under the title of "Queen". This glorious title in a certain sense completes the image of Mary which last Sunday's liturgy offered us on the Solemnity of the Assumption. In fact, in order to understand properly Mary's royal prerogative we must not forget that there is a Christian meaning of royalty which is very different from the earthly images of power. This is a royal service of love which passes through the Cross (cf. John 18:33-37), before becoming radiant in the Resurrection.
May the Virgin Mary, crowned Queen, intercede for us and obtain that we imitate her in faithfully fulfilling God’s will on earth, to join her one day in the heavenly Jerusalem. In every situation of our life, let us invoke her with trust: "Queen of all saints, pray for us!".
3. At this moment I cannot forget the beloved peoples of Turkey who were recently hit by a violent earthquake. We are continuously receiving news of a situation that has acquired disastrous proportions. Official sources speak of thousands of deaths, which are unfortunately increasing as the rescue-work continues. There are countless injured and homeless, a vast number of buildings have been destroyed and inhabited neighbourhoods razed to the ground.
With constant apprehension and deep affection I am close to these brothers and sisters who have been so harshly tried. I express deep sorrow for the dead and pray merciful God to welcome them in his eternal dwelling-place. I also pray the Lord to alleviate the suffering of those who have been seriously injured and left homeless. May the rescue operations, promoted and coordinated by the authorities, the effective solidarity of volunteers from Turkey and many other countries be a comfort and help to everyone in that beloved nation who is experiencing a time of great tribulation. Let us pray for them now.
The Pope then greeted the faithful in various languages. To the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors he said:
I cordially greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors who have joined us for this Angelus prayer, among them pilgrims from St Cecilia's and St Michael's Parish of Port Dover, Ontario. May these summer holidays be a time of joy and spiritual renewal for you and your families.
I assure everyone of my prayers and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all.
APOSTOLIC VOYAGE TO POLAND
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Błonie, Kraków, 18 August 2002
"This is my commandment,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. The words of Jesus which we just heard are closely related to the theme of today’s liturgical assembly in Błonie in Kraków: "God, rich in mercy". This phrase in a way captures the entire truth about the love of God which has redeemed humanity. "God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:4-5). The fullness of this love was revealed in the sacrifice of the Cross. For "greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Here is the measure of God’s love! Here is the measure of God’s mercy!
Once we recognize this truth, we become aware that Christ’s call to love others even as he has loved us calls all of us to that same measure. We feel in some sense impelled to make our lives a daily offering by showing mercy to our brothers and sisters, drawing upon the gift of God’s merciful love. We realize that God, in showing us mercy, calls upon us to become witnesses to mercy in today’s world.
2. The call to be witnesses of mercy resounds with particular eloquence here, in my beloved Kraków, dominated by the Shrine of Divine Mercy of Łagiewniki and its new church which yesterday I had the joy of consecrating. Here this call sounds familiar, for it appeals to the age-old tradition of the City, which has always been known for its readiness to assist those in need. We cannot forget that this tradition includes the numerous Saints and Beati – priests, consecrated persons and laity – who devoted their lives to works of mercy. Beginning with Bishop Stanislaus, Queen Hedwig, John of Kęty and Piotr Skarga, and continuing to Brother Albert, Angela Salawa and Cardinal Sapieha, this heritage of mercy has been passed down by generations of Christians in this City over many centuries. Today this heritage has been placed in our hands and it must not be forgotten.
I thank Cardinal Franciszek Macharski whose words of greeting have reminded us of this tradition. I am grateful for the invitation to visit my dear Kraków and for the hospitality offered to me. I greet everyone present, beginning with the Cardinals and the Bishops, and all those who share in this Eucharist through radio and television.
I greet the whole of Poland. In spirit I retrace the luminous journey by which Saint Faustina Kowalska was being prepared to receive the message of mercy – from Warsaw, on to Płock, Vilnius and finally Kraków – and I recall all those who cooperated with the Apostle of Mercy on that journey. I embrace with affection my countrymen, particularly the suffering and the sick; those struggling with various difficulties, the unemployed, the homeless, the elderly and the lonely, and families with many children. I assure them of my spiritual closeness and I accompany them constantly in my prayer. My greeting also goes to my countrymen throughout the world. I also offer a heartfelt greeting to the pilgrims who have come here from various countries in Europe and from throughout the world.
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14 September 2014