18th Week in Ordinary Time: Thursday 8th August 2019

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  • 18th Week in Ordinary Time: Thursday 8th August 2019

St Dominic, Priest

18th Week in Ordinary Time: Thursday 8th August 2019

Num. 20:1-13; Ps. 95(94):1-2,6-7,8-9;
Mt. 16:13-23 (Ps Wk II)

Is it mere coincidence that it was near Caesarea Philippi, near that was popularly believed to be the entrance to Hell, that Peter receives the keys to the kingdom of heaven? Jesus asks the disciples a pivotal question: “Who do you say I am?” As usual in any crowd, there are a lot of false rumours, keys that don’t fit: John the Baptist or one of the prophets from of old. It is Simon Peter who comes up with the proper key, the one that truly fits: Jesus is the Son of the living God.

Peter was given the keys to heaven, a revelation not by flesh and blood but by our heavenly Father. Peter came to know who Jesus is: Jesus Christ is the key to heaven. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Thus we say Jesus is the Key of David, the one who holds the keys to death and the underworld. (Rev. 1:18, 3:7).

So if we have Jesus why do we need whatever keys Peter received? Perhaps we do not need the keys to get into heaven. In fact the book of Revelation says that the 12 pearly gates of heaven, of the New Jerusalem, are never closed.  But it also says no evil-doer shall enter into it (cfr Rev 21:25-27) presumably because the evil-doers are locked away in Hell. Perhaps the keys Peter received are not keys for the ornamental gates of Heaven but the keys for getting us out through the gates of Hell.

Thank you Lord, for opening the door of heaven to us. You are Christ, the Son of the living God and the key to heaven.