In the first reading, we hear this well-known eschatological prophecy of Jeremiah (31:31-34):
I will place my law within them,
and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need
to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me,
says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing
and remember their sin no more.
And in the Gospel (Matthew 16:13-23), our Lord gives this response to Saint Peter’s bold confession of faith.
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,
but my heavenly Father.
“And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld
shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth
shall be loosed in heaven.”
Ironically, the concept of direct revelation by God – eschatological and extraordinary in these passages – has been misunderstood by some as justification for drifting away from what God has already revealed and the Church founded by Christ.
Discernment is, of course, critical. What a person may think is the direct revelation from God can very often be their own subconscious or worse. Even Saint Peter at first, before the gift of the Holy Spirit, found himself “thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
May you and I pray for the gift of discernment, enlightenment, and fidelity to the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Church he founded.