(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, August 27, 2017)
Twent-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
We often say: “Who holds the key has the power”.
On the practical level, to be given a key by an employer implies their trust that we will use that key responsibly.
Isn't it interesting that Jesus, in the Gospel, is also concerned about the Keys to the Kingdom—and gives them to Peter, the Rock? At the same time, He makes Peter the head of His "Church" (the only time this word is used in the New Testament), an assembly so strong that Hell itself will not be able to destroy it. With that key, Peter and his successors will have the power to lock and unlock the gates of heaven. Many bishops and priests through the centuries will use those keys, even though they are weak and fragile themselves. Many have failed in the responsible use of those keys. Christ foresaw all of this when He first entrusted the keys to Peter!
But the power and responsibility are shared in a real sense with all the baptized. To us also the keys to the kingdom of heaven have been given. With those keys we may unlock the doors of forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation; with those keys we can unlock the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, given us at Confirmation and to us have been given the keys to the source and summit of grace, strength and happiness, the Holy Eucharist. With those keys we can unlock the doors of hearts that others may be nourished with God's love and truth. What power lies behind those keys!
What if we abuse the privilege? What then?
Even though we may be merely thoughtless in our neglect of the Sacraments and of so many opportunities to share the treasure of our faith with others, we are taking a huge risk of losing those keys. Isn't it possible that God could take those keys away from us and give them to others who would use them responsibly?
Life is so short!
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor
Prayer For Priests
Lord Jesus, on behalf of the whole Church: Grant love and the light of Your Spirit, and give power to the words of priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, 0 Lord. Lord, give us holy priests; You Yourself maintain them in holiness. 0 Divine and Great High Priest may the power of your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil's traps and snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests. May the power of Your mercy, 0 Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for You can do all things.
PRAYER TO ST. MICHAELSaint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, 0 Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.