Mass Readings: August 21

First: Isaiah 22:19-23
Resp: Psalm 138:1-3,6,8
Second: Romans 11:33-36
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20
Reprinted from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community.

THE KEYS

"I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." –Matthew 16:19

Eliakim was given "the key of the House of David" (Is 22:22). With this key, he could open doors which could never be shut and shut doors which could never be opened (Is 22:22).

Jesus gave this key and other keys to Peter, the apostle on whom He has built His Church (Mt 16:18). These keys are not only the key of David; they are "the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 16:19). These keys give the Church such authority that whatever it binds on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever it looses on earth will be loosed in heaven (Mt 16:19).

We all need the keys to shut up whatever is destroying us. We need to turn the keys to open up "the floodgates of heaven" (see Mal 3:10) by opening up our hearts to God's love and truth. The Church is the only place where we can get the keys we need. So, if we're addicted, unforgiving, or guilt-ridden, we should go to Church. If we're looking for answers, hope, or peace, we should go to Church. Her preaching and praying are the keys we need. The Lord especially has made the Sacrament of Confession the key by which we are freed. The Church has the keys. Go to Church!

PRAYER: Father, may I not sit in prison for years when the keys are right in front of me.
PROMISE: "How deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable His judgments, how unsearchable His ways!" –Rm 11:33
PRAISE: Praise You, risen Jesus! You are "the First and the Last and the One Who lives" (Rv 1:17-18). All glory, honor, and praise to You, "King of kings and Lord of lords"! (Rv 19:16)