21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 24, 2014


Paul writes to the Romans that God can be strange and hard to understand: How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways. St. Augustine agreed, for he said, “if you understand, then that isn’t God.” Likewise St. Thomas Aquinas said, “whatever can be known or understood, that is less then God.”  Elsewhere in scripture, the Prophet Isaiah said, “so high as the heavens are so are high are my thoughts above your thoughts and my ways above your ways.”

And yet scripture also tells us that God is not distant from us. Psalm 139: Lord, you search me and you know me. God is also intimate with us. Jesus: God knows every hair on your head. Isaiah also said, “Could a mother forget her child? Even if she does, I will never forget you.”

This intimacy is modeled in our Gospel today. In answer to my earlier question, Peter describes Jesus as the Messiah, which we know as the “Great Confession.” Jesus describes Peter the Rock.

So we might ask ourselves, which is it? Can God be known to us and yet so misunderstood?

CLICK HERE for the readings for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Isaiah 22:19-23; Psalm 138; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20).


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