Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
>>I want to bring you back to a childhood memory. A phrase that I’m sure all of us use somewhere along the line. when we were children.
Do you remember when someone would call you a nasty name or something you didn’t like? And the response oftentimes that we would give, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Remember that: sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
But as I became older, I realized that’s not true at all. Sticks and stones can break bones, but calling people names can be extraordinarily harmful and damaging in life. The Chinese have a proverb that says: The human tongue can destroy a thousand lives without ever shedding a drop of blood. And it’s true. Words have power.
The names we call each other have power. The power to build up and to enhance and to make better. Words have the ability to express the relationships that we’re in. This is my brother. This is my father. This is my dear friend. This is my child. Words express relationships. Jesus is my Lord. The power of words, how important they are in the gospel today. One of the most, if not the most important question is asked in the Scripture today. Who do you say that I am?
As Jesus asks His apostles. It’s a terribly important question because how we answer that question makes all the difference in the world in terms of how we live our life. Who do you say that Jesus is? We hear the beautiful confession of faith on Saint Peter’s part. He says, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God. The Christ means the anointed of God. Jesus, the word made flesh is the anointed, the living Word of God made flesh. Peter gets it right. You are the son of the living God. As I said, How you answer that question and how I answer that question – The words we put around, more importantly, actions that we’re involved in, will demonstrate who it is that the Christ is for us. Not only by what we say, but certainly by what we do.
The Scriptures present a terribly important question for all of us who claim the name Christian, for all of us who claim the name Disciple, who is the Christ, who is Jesus for you. And how you answer that question makes all the difference in the world.