21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Is. 22:15, 19-23 Rom. 11:33-36 Mat. 16:13-20

Theme: Divine Upliftment

In today’s liturgy, we see God uplifting ordinary men to share in his grace and benevolence as in the case of Eliakim in the first reading of today. In the second reading, St. Paul appreciated God for finding him worthy to be an apostle despite his unworthiness. In the gospel, Jesus UPLIFTED Peter after answering ‘the question’– who do you say I am? Hence, we could see from these readings how God elevate those whom he chooses. However, cooperating with the grace of God is very important for those chosen by God to succeed. If truly we desire to be God’s chosen instruments, we must be disposed to cooperate with his grace like Paul did. It is important that we always remember that our victories and successes are not because of our smartness or intelligence; they are simply because of the grace of God at our disposal. That is why it is very important that in any situation we find ourselves in life to always surrender to God’s grace; for it is God’s grace that brings about divine upliftment’s in the life of any true Christian.


Consequently, one could agree therefore that the saying that ‘no one can curse whoever God has blessed is very true’. This is because Divine Grace acts in favour of such a person. Come to think of it, who can pull down what God has lifted? Indeed, nobody! Any attempt to fight such an individual, will be a waste of time, because you cannot win a fight against God. Therefore, dear friends in Christ, let us take today’s reflection as an invitation to cooperate and accept the grace of God in our lives as we continue to strive for salvation. Our cooperation will not only bring about eternal salvation at the end, but divine upliftment now in the present life.

In the gospel reading, Jesus presents a very important question to his disciples, “who do men say that the son of man is?” the other disciples gave their different answers until Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” This assertion of Peter brought about his Divine Promotion from Jesus. This is an answer that emanates from experiential knowledge, from Peter’s experience of the person of Jesus. In the same way Jesus is asking us today, who am I to you? The answer to this question will be more meaningful when we speak from experience.

Dear friends in Christ, Jesus means different things to people from our experience of him. This is good and wonderful if it is not an exploitative relationship. It should not be knowledge of God that begins and ends with what we get from him. Is there anything you are doing for God? Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you do for me (Mathew 25:40). Put smiles on the faces of the less privileged and the most abandoned. Speak the truth, even when you must stand alone. These are some of the ways we can be on the same page with God. May God grant us Divine upliftment in every aspect of our life, Men. Peace be with you!


21st Sunday in ordinary time year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp