August 27, 2023

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

  • First reading and Psalm
    • Exodus 1:8-2:10
    • Psalm 124
  • Alternate First reading and Psalm
    • Isaiah 51:1-6
    • Psalm 138
  • Second reading
    • Romans 12:1-8
  • Gospel
    • Matthew 16:13-20

The gospel from Matthew:
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Keys of St. Peter
2015 Stilton, Elisabeth

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 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.”

Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Pastor Stevenson tells us that words from the ending of our gospel reading today are imprinted on the dome of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican at Rome. This reading is important to Catholicism. Jesus orders his disciples to not tell anyone that He is the Messiah. An important 19th century author believes that Jesus made this request because the story of the Messiah is not yet told. Jesus is on the march to Jerusalem. The Crucifixion and Resurrection have not yet happened. Following this reading in Matthew is Jesus explaining to his disciples that He must be killed and on the third day rise from the dead and Peter taking Him aside and rebuking him. Then is verse 23 in which Jesus says “Get behind me Satan. You are a stumbling block.” God was revealed at the Cross……….Jesus is the Son of God.

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