21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 85: 1-3
Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me; save the servant who trusts in you, my God. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I cry to you all the day long.
O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Isaiah 22:19-23
Thus says the Lord of Hosts to Shebna, the master of the palace: I dismiss you from your office, I remove you from your post, and the same day I call on my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I invest him with your robe, gird him with your sash, entrust him with your authority; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah. I place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; should he open, no one shall close. Should he close, no one shall open. I drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a throne of glory for his father’s house.
R/ Your love, O Lord, is eternal: discard not the work of your hands.
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart: you have heard the words of my mouth. In the presence of the angels I will bless you. I will adore before your holy temple.
I thank you for your faithfulness and love, which excel all we ever knew of you. On the day I called, you answered; you increased the strength of my soul.
The Lord is high yet he looks on the lowly and the haughty he knows from afar. Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands.
Second reading: 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.
Gospel Acclamation: 2Co5:19
Alleluia, alleluia! God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. Alleluia!
Gospel: 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.
Prayer over the Offerings
O Lord, who gained for yourself a people by adoption through the one sacrifice offered once for all, bestow graciously on us, we pray, the gifts of unity and peace in your Church. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 103: 13-15
The earth is replete with the fruits of your work, O Lord; you bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer the heart.
Prayer after Communion
Complete within us, O Lord, we pray, the healing work of your mercy and graciously perfect and sustain us, so that in all things we may please you. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus had his work cut out for him, so to speak, as he tried to dissuade his followers from the slightest hope that he would use his popularity for political purposes. The discussion focuses on famous figures from the past, whose return was supposed to herald God’s imminent intervention to usher in the end times. When Peter is led to identify Jesus as the Messiah, he is praised for being inspired by the heavenly Father. Jesus reveals that the community of faith he is founding will resist the powers of hell. However, this community will need leadership; it is to Peter and his successors that he entrusts the authority to bind and loose.