August 23, 2020

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

“I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. What you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; And what you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The gospel offers an opportunity to pray with the keys entrusted to you. When was the last time you prayed with your keys in hand? Take time to reflect on the keys you carry with you every day and the service they provide, along with the obligations and responsibilities they require of you. Keys are useful to both lock or unlock. They provide security and protection to belongings and family. Have you ever lost or misplaced your keys?

Peter, in the gospel, professes Jesus to be the Son of the living God and receives the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Think back to their first encounter when Jesus made use of his boat to serve as a pulpit to speak to the crowd gathered along the shoreline. Called to be a fisher of men, Peter said, “Depart from me, Lord, I am a sinful man,” (Luke 5:8). This sinful man is now the gatekeeper, “and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it, [my church].”

The keys in this passage open the gateway to heaven. Jesus lays the foundation stone of his church as he gives Peter the authority to open the accesses to heaven and invite the world to enter. Here is the sacramental life of the church. Unless one is born again, he will not see the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3). One is born again as the Holy Spirit works through the Word of God to bring about new life in a dead sinner. The Son of the living God is the key placed in our hands and consumed in communion. Earth and heaven are united in the foretaste of the heavenly banquet.

Let us pray:

O saving Victim, open wide the gate of heaven to us below, our foes press on from every side, your aid supply, your strength bestow. To your great name be endless praise, Immortal Godhead, One in Three. O grant us endless length of days, in our true native land with thee. Amen. (Hymn for exposition by Saint Thomas Aquinas)


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About William Fickel, SSS