Knowledge, Keys, Kingdom
Updated: Oct 18, 2020
One day a great intelligent professor was crossing a river on a ferryboat to the other shore. The scholar asked the Boatman, “Do you know about Philosophy? Have you learned any great philosophers in your life?” The boatman said, “No, Sir.” The scholar said, “Half of your life has been wasted.” “Okay professor says “Since you are always on the water, do you know about Science, Geology, and Marine life?” He says, “No sir.” Then the scholar says: “three forth of your life has been wasted.” Suddenly there arose a storm and the small boat was about to sink. The boatman asks, “Sir, do you know how to swim?”
The scholar looked very pale, afraid, and perspiring said, “No.”
Then said the boatman, “your Whole Life has been wasted. I am going!” He jumps into the water, swims and saves himself.
We know Knowledge is power. We live in world of Information, often it is overloaded. Knowledge is in our fingertips, if want to know about something.. You can use your devices to get needed information. But often we do not use this information for our faith formation so there will be no transformation in our life and in the way we live.
Today in the Gospel Jesus asking these 2 profound questions. Who do people say I am and then the personal question of who do you say I am? People know about Jesus but do not know Jesus personally. Like in the story, professor know about things but never dare to step into water and learn swimming. The disciples know Jesus, because they lived with him. What I find in this Gospel reading is that a process, a journey from a communal experience to a personal experience of God. I feel we need to journey from inter-personal experience to an intimate personal relationship with Jesus. How do we come know Jesus and have personal intimate relationship with God?
One of the metaphors used in today’s Gospel by Jesus is Keys given to Peter because he gave the right answer. On the other hand, in the first reading we hear about the servant whose keys taken back because he abused his power. The symbol of handing on keys is central to the Gospel. Keys are symbol of trust. We give keys to someone whom we trust. Trust comes knowing the person well enough. Similarly, the person who holds the keys has responsibilities or ownership. If trust is broken, or abused the keys are taken back.
In baptism we are handed on the key of faith. How do we hold on to our faith? What needs to be bound in our life and what is lost? Do we take our faith-formation seriously or closed in?
Kingdom of God
Lastly, the keys are given to Peter, to the church, to us are not for our selfish purposes, but to proclaim God’s glory. Jesus warns Pharisees saying, “You hold the keys to the kingdom of God, you do not enter, and you do not allow others to enter. Sometimes, we can be self-centered like that, where we, rather than building, we break up the kingdom of God, relationships, families and communities. God has blessed us with gift of faith, talents, time, and treasures to be used to build the Kingdom of God, not for our self-glory. People can have wrong image of God or Church, because we don’t open or share, or witness to God’s love.
If we call ourselves children of God, disciples of Christ, then we are called to Know the heart and mind of Jesus by our personal encounter of listening to the Word of God, participating in the sacraments and promoting works of charity, by holding on to those Keys of faith, hope and love, sharing the Gifts of Holy Spirit then we can build the Kingdom of God, where there is unity, joy and peace.