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August 25th, 21th Sunday in Ordinary time Mt 16/21-27
Catholic Homilies
August 25th, 2002

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21th Sunday in Ordinary time Mt 16/21-27


We must read the Gospel stories with an awareness that the authors are aiming their messages at the problem of the Christian community to which they are writing. Many early Christians (and remember that there were probably no more than a thousand at the end of the first century) found it hard to accept the fact that their leader, a man who was the son of God in a special way would have died the horrible and humiliating death of crucifixion, a death reserved for criminals and slaves. Peter's protest is in effect their protest. Life must be lost, Jesus responds. All of us must die, therefore he had to die to, since he was one of us. He showed us how to die and brought God down with us into the valley of death.

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Once upon a time a mom and dad were packing up there things to go home from their summer vacation. They were very sad. They had to go home because the evil people who run schools make kids come back in August. The mom and dad were sad about the end of summer. The family had enjoyed it enormously, husband and wife, children and parents had been closer together than they had been in a long time. The kids were getting older. There might never be another summer like this one. The parents, who were really not very old, felt kind of old. Life was slipping through their fingers. Why did summer have to end, why did kids have to grow older, why did their parents have to grow older. Their eldest, a teenage boy, said what's wrong with you two. They explained to him. Oh, he said wisely, there's always next summer. It'll be different, but it will be better if we make it better.

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