Today’s Gospel reading brings to light the importance of God’s help. Of course we see in the later part Christ talking about the gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which brings healing to those who have fallen and desire to heal their relationship with the Lord. But, we also see the blessing of being open to God’s constant offering of wisdom and knowledge, true knowledge, the knowledge that frees us from the prince of deceit, the truth of love.
Peter’s response to Christ’s question, “But who do you say that I am?” was profound “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” God the Father supplied the answer. God is always offering, and what is important for us to understand is that Peter was open to it; he wasn’t resistant to God’s instruction. Peter, who throughout his apostolic journey, had moments of human failure but never let go of his relationship with Christ and His Father; he never turned off the dialog with Christ. This is of paramount importance for us, because it is the only means of understanding how to travel the journey faith, our apostolic journey. Our journey home is affected by our relationship with Christ, of knowing God.
Pope Benedict, in a 2005 Homily said: ‘Where there is no inner correspondence to God, there is no possibility of knowing God.’ His use of the word ‘inner’ is hermeneutical, it gives us a key. Our communication with God is first and foremost based on our prayer life. As with any relationship dialog is vital, it opens each person up to the other, understanding grows; and our dialog with God is through our prayer life. But a proper prayer life is needed; one that isn’t a monologue; one that allows God’s words to penetrate our being; one that allows God to help us. We need to make sure that in addition to our corporate prayers we give God time for personal communication. By allowing ourselves a heart-felt dialog with God He answers with His loving guidance. Profound things happen when we have this communication with Him – our hearts will see with a new set of eyes and hear with new ears. We can come to understand what St. Paul meant when he wrote to the Romans ‘Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!’
Brothers and sisters, let’s take stock of our prayer life; let’s find ways of adding or increasing our times of personal dialog with our Savior so that as the Collect this morning so beautifully spoke ‘That, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found.’
 Mt 16:13-20
 Homily 12/8/2005 (Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) – Celebration of the 40th anniversary of the closing of the 2nd Vatican Council
 Rom 11:33
 Collect Prayer – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time