Missionary Weekly Reflection
Twenty first Sunday of Ordinary Time, 23 August 2020
Isa. 22:19-23; Ps. 138:1-2a,2bc-3,6,8bc; Rm. 11:33-36; Mat. 16:13-20
First reading – Isaiah 22:19-23: This reading needs to be viewed as if it is free reading, not in itself. This reading is closely related to God’s call to David, whom He anointed, as the leader of Israel. When referring to God’s sending to David, all those who lead Israel, from the lowest to top level – like the King – only had the meaning of salvation, as God’s will. Therefore, the various layers of authorities that were the leadership strength of the Israeli family were not seen as mere military and economic or political power; but as part of participation in Yahweh’s sending for human salvation. In this case, the prophecy of the Prophet Isaiah became an expression of God’s Will of Salvation, – no matter how the condition and situation of Palestine. Let us prepare ourselves to be given faith: “Lord, we believe in You, in any circumstances.”
Second reading – Rome 11:33-36: The reading of Paul’s Letter to the Romans, shows the similarity in the message of New Testament and Old Testament. God’s call through Isaiah in the First Reading, along with the Second Reading of the New Testament shows: how the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a new manifestation of the Old Testament message. It is shown to us, as Christ’s disciples, how much we are invited to have faith, that God’s Wisdom is much deeper than the problem and sorrow of human being from any time. The situation and condition in Rome are definitely different from us now. However we are indeed asked to open our heart to believe, that no matter how difficult it may seem, just believe that God’s wisdom is beyond all.
For our time today we are grateful, there are so many sufferings and the whole world is trying to find the ultimate solution. There are so many experts who want to help to solve the difficulties caused by this outbreak. It seems this outbreak will take a while to resolve: nevertheless, those seem to have recovered, may recur. In this case, today’s reading invites us to “believe” that God’s wisdom will transcend everything and give solution to all matters. Let us give ourselves to be given faith: “Lord, we believe in You, in any circumstances”.
Gospel Reading – Matthew 16:13-20: In a situation when we are often in the state of doubt, even fear to admit as a disciple of the Guru from Nazareth, whom was often denied by many religious and community leaders at that time, the Apostles were challenged to take a clear attitude. In today’s time the situation and condition are very tough: physically, medically, psychologically, culturally as well as ideologically and spiritually. We are also continuously encouraged in all situation to take an attitude: in political, economic, cultural, in a group, to say “How are you related to the Nazarene?” To answer it, we can limit ourselves to reading, interpreting and analyzing socially or exploring philosophically and religiously. We ultimately determine to do a study in order to sort out and choose “for me, Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ.” Let us prepare ourselves to be given faith: “Lord, we believe in You, in any circumstances “.
(RP. B.S. Mardiatmadja, SJ – Lecturer of STF Driyarkara)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Prosperity in the maritime: May all people who work and live from the sea, sailors, fishermen and their families, and officers who guard the sea, always be blessed with safety and prosperity. We pray …
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Harmony for the nation: As a real action in establishing the togetherness and harmony of the nation, may the Church open itself to the culture and want to promote the variety of local arts activities. We pray …
We entrust our efforts in the state to realize the justice for for every citizen. We pray …