Today’s liturgy presents three types of commitment. The first type of commitment is how Peter committed to the Lord. It was a commitment from the lips. It emanated from his vocal chords and nothing deeper than that. Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Unfortunately, he did not go deeper than his throat and his lips. That is why he could not understand that the Messiah had to suffer. So, after he rebuked Jesus, Jesus called him “Satan.” Jesus saw him as an obstacle.

The second type of commitment is found in the First Reading— the commitment to the Prophet Jeremiah’s prophecies. He said, “I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people.” It is a commitment deeper than the voice and the lips. It is a commitment from the heart. The heart is not simply the center of emotions. The heart is not merely what functions when we watch soap operas and wipe our tears while watching them. Rather, the heart is the core of the human person; therefore, it is a commitment from the core, from the center.

The third commitment is not found in Scripture. The third commitment is found in today’s feast day of St. Dominic. Before the time of St. Dominic, priests were restricted to the monasteries. During his time, St. Dominic went to the marketplace and started to argue and debate publicly with heretics. He debated and argued publicly with the Albigensians. In other words, he brought Christ to the marketplace. He was no longer confined to the convent, monasteries, and the sacristy. He brought Christ and His word to the world.

And so it goes: Commitment from the lips, commitment from the heart, commitment in the world. It is understandable that we begin from the lips, but we must move deeply into our hearts, and our commitment to the heart must be proclaimed in the marketplace.

Mt. 16:13-20
Love Like Jesus

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