21st Sunday in Ordinary Time August 27, 2023

Fr. Rick’s Two-Minute Homily for 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 27, 2023, Matthew 16:13-20


We Are A Lot Like St. Peter.

Marathon bike races are famous in Florida. Officials set up cones to direct bikers to their destination, the finish line. If bikers leave those cones to go a different route, they will never reach the finish line. So, what is the point of racing when bikers do their own thing and do not follow directions?

We are blessed in the Church to have a guide to get us to the finish line (heaven – eternal bliss). That guarantee on earth is Jesus in St. Peter, our Rock, who withstands all the storms through the centuries that bash against us. This grace-filled Rock is in all of Peter’s successors, the popes.

But sometimes, we think we have a better idea than Jesus. We are like Peter, who did not want Jesus to go to the cross and suffer. Jesus told Peter that he thought not as God thinks but as human beings think.

It reminds me of what God said through the prophet, “My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts. As high as the heavens are above the earth, are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9).

People and groups continue challenging our Lord’s authority in Peter and his successors. This grace in the Catholic Church has outlasted schisms, reformations, and even Mass exoduses of practicing the Faith given to us by God. Is it worth seeking our human way when there is only one Way (Jesus) to heaven?

We may not agree with something the Holy Father teaches. Remember, we are not following a man. We are following Jesus. It demands trust. Sometimes, Jesus leads us where we don’t want to go. So, he gave us the Rock. “Whatever you declare on earth is declared in heaven.”

The cones are there for only one reason. The next most extraordinary grace after martyrdom is obedience. When we surrender our will to Jesus, the floodgates of heaven’s blessings and challenges fill our lives, moment by moment.

Gospel Challenge:

The Catholic Church is our greatest friend to keep us faithful to Jesus and get us to heaven. We have her teaching and Sacraments. What will it take to get back on course if we have strayed? There is only one hand we can grab to keep us from sinking.

Peace everyone.


Fr. Rick Pilger, IC


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