At the conclusion of World Youth Day, a great message from God on the authority of the successor of Peter…

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Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of ...

Benedict XVI

Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.

Reading:  I will place the key*of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one will shut, what he shuts, no one will open.  (Isaiah 22:22)

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Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood* has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.*Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  (Matthew 16:17-19)

Observation:  I noticed that as the Pope wrapped up World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain with a slightly larger version of a youth Mass than we will have today at Saint Alice, he did not take the opportunity to use the scripture that we were given in today’s Mass readings to shed some light to the world about the basis of the authority of his office.  I am sure there are ecumenical reasons for his choice to not point out that the authority that has been passed down to the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Pope was ordained by God in this wonderful reading of scripture today, both the old and new testament readings.  I wish the would have said more about these readings, but then what fun would it have been for me to discover them again this morning.  By the way, he is acting in the inspiration of the holy Spirit, so I am going to assume he said just what he was supposed to say.  I, however,  have one thing to say, “Esta es, la juventud de Papa!”  I just hope I said it right!

Personification: Love  The Pope did speak about love in the prayer vigil service on Saturday night, in answer to a few questions that he received about how to live our faith in a world that is focused on wealth and power.  I hope that I can take seriously the words that he reflected on from the Gospel of John, and I can “Abide” or live “in his love” and display that love to everyone that I meet. 

Prayer:  Lord, create in me a heart that longs to love your people with all of my being.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

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