How mysterious are the ways of the Lord! From today’s Readings, we perceive the depth of the riches, wisdom and knowledge of God. We come to the realization that the judgements of God that were unsearchable and mysterious at the time of their occurrence were made known in time as they unraveled themselves at the time of Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension.
Not knowing the mind of the Lord, no one can tell today how His progressive Divine Plan is unraveling itself. But looking back on history, at the prophetic words that are found in the Old and New Testaments, we can now perceive the greatness and glory of the Lord God. We can look back on many of the prophecies from the Old Testament, concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and visualize what the prophets were talking about; whereas in their times they were mocked and ridiculed for their writings. For example, let us take a look at the first reading from the prophet Isaiah. In the message to Shebna, God spoke of the key to the house of David. The words spoken by God, prophetic in nature, are very similar to the words we heard Jesus speak to Peter in the reading of today’s Gospel. What Eliakim shall open, no one shall shut; what he shall shut, no one shall open. In this message, the key that is worn over the shoulder, represents the authority of its keeper to grant or deny admittance to the royal presence. In our Gospel Jesus told Peter that he would give him the keys to the Kingdom. In those days no one perceived the depthness of the mysteries of the Lord. Nor was anyone in a position to associate the keys with the authority of Peter as the first apostolic leader of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church. Even today, the authority of the keys of the kingdom of Heaven still have a major impact in the Catholic Church. Whatever the Pope binds on earth is bound in Heaven, and whatever is loosed on Earth is loosed in Heaven. The importance of the keys can be seen any time we gaze upon the Papal State flag and see the Keys prominently depicted as the centerpiece of the flag. And looking back in time, we now can perceive the prophetic mysteries of the Lord that were associated with this passage in the book of Isaiah.
When we review today’s Gospel, once more, we see the mysteries of God at work. Many of the people did not know who Jesus was. Some thought that He was John the Baptist, some Elijah and others even thought He was Jeremiah the prophet. To ensure the fulfillment of the prophecies that were found in the Scriptures, the Heavenly Father hid the identity of Jesus as the Messiah from the eyes of many of the people until such time as Jesus had gloriously resurrected. After the Resurrection, the Divine Plan unraveled itself so all who had a sincere heart could see that God had fulfilled His numerous promises of sending the Messiah to save His beloved people.
In those days it seemed very mysterious. But looking back today, we see that God can achieve anything He wants. We can see how He calls imperfect men as instruments of His Divine work. We can see how He calls the uneducated to display the glorious power of His Spirit. Why? Because the mysteries have unraveled themselves like a blooming flower.
We see the wonderful mysteries of God unfold every day before us. Who, in the time of Jesus would have thought that a lowly fisherman, such as Peter would be given the task of leading the greatest Church in the world. It was only after the death and Glorious resurrection of Jesus that Peter understood his apostolic role in the Holy Catholic Church. The keys were his authority as the first of hundreds of Popes who would follow his apostolic succession.
My friends, there is something to learn from today’s message. Sometimes in life, we do not understand why certain things happen in our lives. The events may appear mysterious. If we look 5 or 10 years in our past, we may now perceive what may have been a mystery at the time. We may now be able to see how we have spiritually gained from our life experiences. Although the Heavenly Father was mysterious in His ways at the time, His Divine Will is now made known to us. Let us take time to perceive, as we continue with the Mass, what our Heavenly Father has done for us so we may grow in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And when our eyes are opened to the mysteries of the Lord, let us take a moment to thank Him for all He has done for us, all He has forgiven us for, glorifying Him in His most Holy Name. As we welcome two new members into our parish family, and watch another member of our parish complete his Confirmation, I ask that we all pray for these three men and ask God to keep them close to Him and to our Church. AMEN!!!
— Deacon Charley