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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Peter, the Rock

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church." Mt 16:18

Earlier in Matthew's gospel Jesus tells anyone willing to listen to him to build their houses on rock, not on sand. Sand is soft and when a heavy storm comes it will wash away and houses built on it will crumble. Unfortunately, not only the Pharisees, who build their power on a narrow interpretation of the Law, fall victim to this fault. We build our houses on sand when we think that wealth and power alone can secure a good life for us. Money and influence are not evils, but can too easily fool us into thinking that we have no need of God or faith and that is the danger against which Jesus warns us.

The rock upon which Jesus wants us to build our lives is faith. When we are grateful for someone or something, we naturally want to offer others the same gift we received. Faith is a pure gift, not something we can earn or deserve, and Jesus wants us to be grateful for it, give it away, and offer service to others freely so that they will experience the fruits of our faith without limitation, reservation or the need to reciprocate.

It is Peter's faith that allows him to recognize Jesus as the Messiah of God, the one who has come into the world for the salvation of all. Because Peter responds in faith, Jesus tells him he will be the rock upon which he will build the church. The same is true for us. When we live in faith we can be the rock upon which Jesus continues to construct his Kingdom, and a source for others to know the love of the living God.

Today, be grateful for your faith and share it whenever possible.

Has someone or some teaching of our faith been a rock for you?

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