Select Sunday > Sunday Web Site Home > Spiritual Reflections > Discussion Questions
 Discussion Questions
21st Sunday of Ordinary Time
Year A
August 27, 2023
Anne Osdieck
First Reading Isaiah 22:19-23

1. This reading, from Isaiah, says, “he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” How can the Church act as father in the present crises: racial, immigration, environmental, martial? Besides continuing to have a solid faith, what other qualities or virtues do we look for in Church leadership?

2. “I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder … ” In the Gospel Jesus tells Peter he will give him the keys to the kingdom of heaven. What might those keys unlock? The depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God?

Second Reading

Romans 11:33-36

1. “For who has know the mind of the Lord?” Are you good at recognizing the Lord in your life? Are you able to know where God is leading you, or what God is doing in your life?

2. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! … For from him and through him and for him are all things.” Every person, every race, every part of our environment comes from God. How can we thank or “give glory” to God for gifts such as these? By loving? By protecting others?

Matthew 16:13-20

1. To answer Jesus’ question, “who do you say I am,” you have to know him. Which of the following could help you know Jesus?—take whatever time you wish with any of these:

Music by Vivaldi; Michelangelo's David; Van Gogh’s Irises; a good homily; a good book; good friends; suffering; joy; meditation; successes; weaknesses; family; flowers; people without a home.

Can you find (and get to know) God in many of these [and more]?

2. When the disciples answered Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” they went from admiring Jesus to following him. What do you think Pope Francis meant when he said that in following Jesus we are “looking ahead and welcoming the kairos [moment of grace]”?

At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” … They had to take that decisive step, from admiring Jesus to imitating Jesus. Today too, the Lord looks at each of us personally and asks: “Who am I for you?” This question, addressed to each of us, calls for more than a quick answer straight out of the catechism. It requires a vital, personal response.

That response renews us as disciples. It takes place in three steps, steps that the disciples took and that we too can take. It involves first, proclaiming Jesus; second, discerning with Jesus and third, following Jesus. …

The present International Eucharistic Congress marks the end of one journey, but more importantly, the beginning of another. For walking behind Jesus means always looking ahead, welcoming the kairos of grace, and being challenged every day by the Lord’s question to each of us, his disciples: Who do you say that I am?

International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest
Pope Francis Address, Sept 12, 2021

Anne Osdieck

Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go