August 27, 2017
by Rev. Steve Ryan
Creighton University's Dental School
click here for photo and information about the writer

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 121

Isaiah 22:19-23
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8
Romans 11:33-36
Matthew 16:13-20

Praying Ordinary Time

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Quite a supporting cast Christ picked for his ministry, those apostles.

There were days when Jesus had to wonder.

Like when James and John, the sons of Zebedee, request the places of honor at his sides when the moment of triumph arrives (Mark 10:35ff.).  Matthew’s account has their mother making the proposition.   Either way, Christ had to heave a sigh.

Slow to understand, if not clueless.  At times they seem more a drag on the ministry than a help.
So when Christ selects Peter in today’s gospel, one is pulled into reflection on it.  How could he be so sure?

Meanwhile, other passages surface. 

My favorite story of the call of the disciples in the first chapter of John.  Having had Jesus pointed out to them by John the Baptist, a pair begin to shadow him.  After noticing this, Jesus asks them what they would like.  “Uh, where do you stay?” 

The Baptist’s recommendation spurs their curiosity.  They follow Christ without being fully sure why.   Perhaps he can assuage those hungers gnawing at their hearts.  If only.
Jesus sees the possibilities and replies simply, “Come and see.”

Christ could see their best selves.  He knew where they were at, individually--but also what they could become. 

That’s a consoling thought when one doesn’t feel up to the job at hand.  It’s helpful when counseling others who are doubting their own call and feel immobilized by their own frailties. 

Christ calls us anyway.

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