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Homily for the 21st Sunday in ordinary time, year A



Isaiah 22:19-33
Romans 11:33-36
Matthew 16:13-20


Dearly beloved, this morning, God through the Church invites us to look beyond our weakness and discover the real person God created in us. Our world is full of people who are unable to see beyond their shortcomings and are thus limited and defined by it. St. Augustine invites us to “dig deep enough in any person and we will find something divine”

This was the case of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11); whiles the crowd saw only the sinner in her, Jesus saw in her a daughter of God who deserves love and support. Jesus saw beyond her sinfulness – no condemnation but a chance to start afresh. And this is the good news that Jesus always gives us – revealing who we really are (sinners) and who we can become (saints).

Beloved, in asking who do you say I am, Jesus invites the disciples to go beyond the ordinary and discover who He truly is – the son of God. It is a decisive question whose answer determines our entire destiny. For if Jesus is the son of God, then we are obliged to make a choice for Him.

My dear friend, in addressing Peter as a rock, Jesus reminded Peter of how God sees him and the need for Peter to be encouraged by this image of God about him. The story of Peter is our story too; we are not to allow our weaknesses to define us but we are to see beyond them and discover who we really are – children of God, and be encouraged to reflect this image.

You are not your weaknesses; do not define yourself by your shortcomings. We have to work hard so as to conform to the image God has of us. (2 Chronicles 15:7). Do not allow your weaknesses to discourage or make you ashamed. Let it teach you humility and dependence on God.

Finally, even though the gospel reading for today has traditionally being used to reinforce our faith in the primacy of the Pope and the infallibility of his teaching office, let us use it today to strengthen our resolve not to be limited by our weakness but to be encouraged in our struggle to reflect God’s idea of us.

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