Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Homily for the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Unfortunately, I did not have time this past week to write out my homily as I usually try to do. The gospel, in particular, allowed for such a wide choice of topics on which to preach. And, as it so happened, the homily I preached on Saturday evening was somewhat different from the Sunday evening version. Some of the key points are here, nevertheless:

Divine Providence allowed for this weekend's readings to coincide quite nicely with world events and with Sunday's saint, Pope St. Pius X. The readings speak to the Petrine Primacy, or the mission and authority given to St. Peter by our Lord in the sixteenth chapter of St. Matthew's gospel. Naturally, World Youth Day would attract our attention, especially since we have pilgrims from St. John Neumann in Cologne right now.

Our Lord changes St. Peter's name in response to a revelation from the Father; St. Peter confesses the Truth about Christ, not on his own, but because he has heard from the Father. It is not St. Peter's greatness that brings about the new mission, but his docility (at this moment) to the prompting of the Father. Yet, in a few moments, St. Peter will try to dissuade our Lord from the Cross, earning a stern rebuke. What are we to make of this?

We come to the Church on Christ's terms -- not our own. The Cross is the guidepost and marker of the Christian life; we're not free to reject suffering (or any other aspect of the truth) because we don't like it. The Church belongs to Jesus Christ, not to me, to any other priest, any bishop, or even the pope. As such, the Church serves Christ and His teachings.

Nevertheless, the teachings of the Church are preserved from error by the divine charism of Infallibility. This means that the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, cannot teach error in Faith or morals. We have nothing to fear when we believe wholeheartedly in the teachings of the Church. If we struggle with a teaching, we can do our best to pray for docility to the Spirit that we will understand the reasons for our belief.

Finally, we need to pray earnestly for our Holy Father, and for all bishops and priests. They have been given a great task, and require our support.

I also mentioned a few things about relics, including the First Class relic of Pope St. Pius X that was in the sanctuary for yesterday evening's Mass, and the relics of St. Peter beneath St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. For more information about these relics, visit the Scavi office in Rome. Enjoy this tour of St. Peter's, this article about St. Peter in Rome, this article about the tomb, and this amazing site about everything Roman!