21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Father Jim Donohue's picture

Father Jim Donohue

August 17, 2017

 

Remember when you were old enough to be given a key to the house or to the office? People probably did not entrust this key to you so that you could do whatever you wanted with it. Rather, it was entrusted to you because people trusted you to take care of whatever the key gave access to. In fact, being entrusted with a key is being entrusted as a steward who will take special care. You could imagine how, being given a key to the house as a youngster, you might resist someone who tried to take it from you in order to do harm. Being entrusted with this responsibility might cost you something and might bring about suffering as you defend it.

Our gospel reading today describes how Jesus bestows upon Peter “the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” Indeed, traveling throughout Rome this summer, I saw countless statues and paintings of Peter holding a set of keys.  One might look, for instance, at this statue of Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican:

 While at first glance this might seem a real privilege in terms of honor and prestige, Peter was given an example of service to follow in the washing of the feet at the Last Supper.

                                                                                                                        

Indeed, we know that Peter endured death as the result of this service, believing he was unworthy to die as Christ and was crucified upside down.

            Like Peter, we have been entrusted with a great deal. Each of us is entrusted with the gift of faith, which we are called to treasure as good stewards. May God continue to bless us as we live in service of this faith in spite of cost that might come our way.