Soul Food for Sundays

Soul Food for Sunday 27th August 2023 the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflections 27th August 2023
Matthew 16:13-20

The Author: Ronan Barry
calendar_today Date: August 3, 2023 - 2 minutes read

Who do you say I am?

Several years ago, when working in school chaplaincy, I was with a class preparing for the Sacrament of First Eucharist. We were creatively exploring who Jesus is. At the end of the exercise, I asked “And who is Jesus for you?”  I requested that the answer be an image.

There were several answers: Jesus was like a ‘summer day on the beach’; Jesus was the ‘best footballer who knew how to pass’; Jesus was a ‘warm blanket on a winter’s day’.  Then up stood one young person, aged 7 like his peers; for him Jesus was the person that smoothed the bumps in my heart when I’m sad. What a wonderful healing image of Jesus!

In today’s gospel, Simon Peter in reply to the question, “Who do you say that I am?”  declares, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In revealing this answer, Jesus calls to Peter to be the Rock for the foundation of his Church. His Church is a place where the ‘living God’ is alive and can be experienced. 

We want our young people to have something they can build in life on which nothing can demolish. This is Jesus, the Son of the living God.

Prayer at times of confusion and distress

When people’s lives are turned upside down in a terrible instant, come among them, O Lord, as rock and salvation. When they are stunned, numb or uncomprehending, breathe gently on their sorrow with your breath of life. As they seek other people for help and support, hold them all safe in the midst of the fire and tempest of their turmoil. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. –  Brown, Rosalind. Prayers for Living (p. 122).

Photo by Winggo Tse on Unsplash

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Ronan Barry

Ronan is Director of Spiritan Mission Ireland, set up in 2017 to respond, in line with Spiritan charism, to the current context of the Irish Spiritan Province and Church. He was part of the Spiritan education team for over ten years. He lives with his family in Kildare.