"Upon this rock I will build my church."
This Sunday's gospel story places Jesus in Caesarea Philippi and the disciples are just back from their mission of preaching. Jesus asks them who the people think he is. He is measuring the faith-status in the regions around him. All of us at some stage must come to our own Caesarea Philippi. Just as he challenged the disciples, to each of us who are baptized Jesus leans over and whispers, "But YOU...who do YOU say I am?"
Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 24, 2014 (21A)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
Sunday Mass Readings
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BQ: What influence does the Pope have on your personal life?
Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.
Book of the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 22, Verses 9-23
1. Discuss ways in which Eliakim is a prototype of the ultimate leader, Christ. And, what does Eliakim have in common with Peter?
2. God says he will fix Eliakim like a peg in a sure spot so he will have a place of honor. The reading is full of similies and metaphors concerning God’s support for him. Besides having a solid faith, what other qualities or virtues do you look for in Church leadership?
Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8
1. The Psalm's response petitions the Lord,"Do not forsake the work of your hands." Can you identify with this verse? In what way do you believe you are the work of His hands?
2. Our psalmist is grateful that the Lord has built up strength within him. Do you also believe that your prayer time with the Lord can become a source of strength, even though you may have approached the Lord from a position of weakness? Explain.
Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Chapter 11, Verses 33-36
1. “For who has known the mind of the Lord?” How good are you at second-guessing God? Can you always figure out ahead of time where God is leading you, or what God is doing in your life?
2. Look at at the rear-view mirror at the highway of your life. Can you see where God was on the road with you?
According to Matthew, Chapter 16, Verses 13-20
1. Jesus hears who “other people” say he is, but he wants to know who his disciples think he is. How would you answer his question, “Who do you say that I am?”
2. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Do the keys refer to Peter’s authority to legislate or interpret the Law? “And upon this rock I will build my church.” Who is building the church, Christ or Peter? How could/do you help “build” the church?
Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share below your reflections on the Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.