Thursday, August 4, 2016

Jeremiah 31:31-24, Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19, Matthew 16:13-23


You are Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. -Mt 16:18

Jeremiah 31:31-24, Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19, 
Matthew 16:13-23

Jeremiah 31:31-24

My soul's beloved, You are the glorious Covenant that God has made with His people, the sheep of His flock, His chosen. He has granted us the privilege of being His children because of You who is our Brother. You lay down Your life for us in entering into our death which is the wages of sin and giving us a share in Your life. Your law of love is etched into our hearts by the Living Presence of the Holy Spirit in us. He makes of our mortal bodies His Temple and enable us to know You. He reveals the Truth about You and draws us into the family of the Trinity. No longer do You call us servants bu friends for You have revealed to us all the secrets of the Kingdom of God and You have prepared a place for us there to remain with You forever.

I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19

My soul's beloved, You abhor sin and yet You became sin in order that I may be set free from its enslavement.

Nothing impure can come into You holy Presence this is why You pour Your precious Blood on us and wash us from sin. Without the Holy Spirit in us it would be impossible to know You. It would be impossible to know what pleases You. It would be impossible to love You. Give me my soul's beloved the ability to say no to sin. To resist temptation and to refrain from walking in ways that lead to death. Grant me the gift of drawing sinners like me back to the paths that lead to salvation and to You.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.

Matthew 16:13-23

My soul's beloved, like Peter who belonged to the inner circle, who knew You better than anyone possibly could. Who saw the mighty power of God at work in You and to whom the Holy Spirit revealed the great truth that he expressed in response to Your query and in turn You chose to be Your Vicar on earth as we see from these verses:

 “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Of the twelve Peter was chosen as its leader not through any special merit on his part - he in fact may have been the least likely candidate were it put to a vote. One moment he reveals the great truth of who You truly are and the next we have You likening him to the devil because he wanted to deter You from accomplishing the mission for which You came into the world.

Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Before we rush to condemn him let us take a close look at ourselves and see that we too are all too human for as St. Paul reminds us, we long to do good but choose to do evil instead. Only the Holy Spirit and grace can help us every moment of every day to choose life, to choose You and not the easy self-indulgent way that leads to death.  Keep me safe in Your love.

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