Sharing in His Ministry

Matthew 16:13-19
1Ptr 5:1-4 / Psa 23

I will give you the keys of 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 16:19)

Thank God for the opportunity
Of being stewards for His kingdom;
The Word of God as our ministry,
With His authority and wisdom.

When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:13-19)

Reflection

Jesus entrusted to St. Peter the “keys to the kingdom of heaven” as the symbol of the Church’s authority and wisdom. All authority and wisdom come from God. They are the fruit of faith. God has given them for a divine purpose. The few who are called to serve are given the tools for the harvest. God never leaves them on their own. His Spirit always abides in all their undertakings for His kingdom. That is why they can speak with authority because He imbues them with His wisdom.

It is a sacred privilege to share in the work of the Lord’s ministers, our bishops and priests, whose authority emanates directly from God. “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” This passage is a strong admonition for them to safeguard all the spiritual graces that Jesus has entrusted to them in the ministry of the sacraments. How fortunate we are to have the Lord’s ministers to provide us what we need for our spiritual benefit – practically for free. It should only be natural for us to accord the reverence due them as God’s holy ministers.

In our renewal community, we consider it a great privilege to serve in the Lord’s vineyard — as service director, group or unit leader, speaker or prayer intercessor. The Holy Spirit gives guidance, which can be considered as gifts of wisdom from the Divine Providence Himself! Let us be guided by the words of St. Peter in the first reading: “Tend the flock of God in your midst, (overseeing) not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1Ptr. 5:2-4).

To everyone involved in the ministry of evangelization, the work is the reward itself because the manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s gifts are such precious influences. We believe our Lord’s words that “flesh and blood has not revealed (these to us), but (our) heavenly Father.” (Mt.16:17) What a joy it is to know that like the disciples of Jesus, we too are being sent by the Lord in spreading the Good News of salvation.

Thank You, Lord for the assurance of Your kingdom that we receive through our pope, bishops and priests; and for the precious opportunity of sharing in their work. Amen.

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