Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections

Everything That We have Comes from God. 21st Sunday Year A



Sunday Breakfast With the Word 21st Week Ordinary Time of the Year A

Everything That We have Comes from God

Isaiah 22:15, 19-23,  Romans 11:33-36, Matthew 16:13-20



Saint Francis of Assisi is one of the saints who became devoted to God and Christianity after abandoning a life of luxury. In order to raise money to rebuild the Christian church, Francis sold his horse and some clothes from his father’s shop.


His father upon hearing this dragged Francis before the local bishop. The bishop told St. Francis to return his father’s money but He stripped off his clothes, and along with them returned the money back to his father, declaring that God is ready to provide for Him, for everything comes from Him. He declares that God is now the only Father he has. And there was no record that He returned back to the father.


Secondly, when the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and complained that the man He testified about was baptizing on the other side of the Jordan and everyone was going to Him. To this, John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven”. The above references point the fact that God is the one that gives.


In today’s gospel, instead of praising Peter for answering well and being full of wisdom like we would have done if we were Peter, Jesus told Him that such knowledge was never from a human agent but from God the Father. Even in the second reading, Paul re-emphasized this by saying that “everything there is, comes from God, caused by God and exists for God.

 We can envisage the connection in today’s message from the readings. Everything that we have comes from God. 


Shebna’s Situation.


In the first reading, we see God reproving Shebna in a harsh manner, promising to snatch away his post and appointing Eliakim son of Hilkiah to be his replacement.


Shebna was one of King Hezekiah’s chief assistants. While Eliakim son of Hilkiah was the palace administrator. Shebna was both a steward and a secretary (2 Kings 18:18, Isaiah 37:2).

He made himself a powerful tomb, which was a great display of power and wealth at that time. This is because Isaiah had prophesied that the people of Judah and Jerusalem would be carried away into exile, but Shebna did not believe it.


He built this elaborate tomb for himself in Jerusalem, as if to say that He will never be carried away in exile.

He used his position as a scribe and learned man to cause problems. In the following verses of that first reading, God asked Him “What do you have here, who gave you permission to build yourself a tomb here (Isaiah 22:16).


As if to say that Shebna took laws into his hands and thought of Himself as a god and owner of His position. God then threatened to remove Shebna because of His pride. 


2. By removing Shebna who once thought himself great and replacing Him with Eliakim, God reminded the people that every authority and power come from Him.


Sometimes when we gather much knowledge and rise to certain positions, we forget that what we are and what we have are nothing if by the grace of God. We arrogate power unto ourselves and act any way we like.


Paul says “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Corinthians 4:17). When we know that whatever we think we have or know comes from God, we will thread humility in everything we do.




The Encounter at Caesarea Philippi.


When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi He asked His disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of man is? Let us analyze this.


1. Jesus is famous and well-known for his healing, teaching, and miraculous works. Before the coming of Jesus, there were already messianic prophecies about the birth of Jesus. 

During the time of John the Baptist, He was preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near”. (Matthew 3:1-2).

So, the people want to understand, who is this man that has been working miraculously in their midst.

So, the question Jesus is asking is a way to know if the people truly understand where He came from. Who was it that the crowds thought they were following, that they were coming to hear?


2. The apostles answered that “some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets”.

The key point in this answer is that the prophets the crowd are mentioning were also key figures in the Jewish tradition. A sign that they saw Jesus only as a mighty prophet. They do not truly understand who He is. At some point, they took Jesus only as a political Messiah, who would save them from the hands of the Romans.


Our Understanding Of Jesus


Like the crowds, many today understand Jesus only as a healer and a miracle worker. Some understand Jesus as the one who gives money.


This is the reason when many Christians begin to struggle due to financial lack, they remember God. For a long time, they do not have time for that God but only run to Him in the time of lack.


In those situations, they will begin to shout Oluwa dey (God is present), na Baba God, Oluwa bu Eze (God is King). Some will say “Na God go do am” etc. yet some people who call these names will never spend time in communication with God. 


2. Some Christians also understand Jesus only as a mere figure who cannot have any influence again in present-day situations.

This is the reason when problems come, they run away elsewhere looking for solutions. They lose faith. Some Christians take Jesus only as somebody that never existed and what the Europeans just implanted into their minds as a way of mental slavery.


This is the reason many today will tell you that Christianity is a scam. The true cause of all these is a lack of intimate relationship with God.


One who truly relates with God out of love will always know that Jesus is real. There will certainly be encounters and life-changing experiences. Many will surely experience the true power of prayers. However we truly know God will surely affect how we worship Him.  


3. When we understand that whatever we are is from God, we shall always come to Him. It is good also to understand who we are and what is the cause of our existence.


It is good to ask what truly defines my life as a Christian. what does a Christian mean? Understanding these will help us to follow our Christian precepts. We will come to understand who we are and then live by examples. When we understand who we are, We will never be proud of what we think we have.



To His Apostles




Jesus later pointed the same question to his apostles. Jesus asks them “Who do you say that I am?”


1. If we are to read that verse literally it would say something like, “But you, who do you say I am?” 

Let us not forget that these are his disciples. The people Jesus has chosen. He is equipping them for the work ahead to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. 

It is absolutely paramount that they know who Jesus is. It is good that they know the identity of Jesus in order to teach and evangelize effectively, for “No one gives what he does not have”(Nemo dat quod non-habet).


2. Peter answered that Jesus is the Christ the son of the Living God. This answer alone is enough to strengthen our faith in Him. If we truly know that Jesus is God and whatever He says is from God, we will keep His word, we will spend time with Him, and we key into our daily program a time with Jesus.


3. In the second reading, Paul says that the wisdom and knowledge of God are rich.

Every wisdom according to Job 12:13 comes from God and in 1 Corinthians 1:24, Paul referred to Jesus as the wisdom of God.

  When we understand that every wisdom comes from Him, and His wisdom led us to wherever we are, and every solution we try to put in, we will not boast of the little we have but in every humility approach him for more wisdom to succeed. 


4. At the beginning of St. John’s gospel, John says, In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3).

This indicates that God made us who we are. He gives us positions and authority to serve him, but sometimes we forget this and think we come into the world by our power. This is the reason, many see themselves as gods. We often tend to forget that we shall also go back as we come. 


5. Despite everything that happened to Job, one truth that strongly kept his faith is in this statement “It is God that gives and takes away” (Job 1:21). Job understands and this wisdom leads him through the time of his suffering and tribulation.

Understanding Jesus is also an awareness that in him, there is life. He is the light that no darkness could overcome( John 1:4). We are not the owners of life. Even the life we have is given to us. we need to understand this.


6. When Peter answered Jesus, I was expecting Jesus to clap for Him or praise Him. Jesus would have said “Wow Peter, you are too much, you are a great man, Peter you can think”, etc. but Jesus rather referred him back to the source of knowledge. Jesus says to him, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven”.

This is a reminder that whatever we think we possess or have, let us not forget the source. True knowledge comes from God. But sometimes when God gives us knowledge, we allow what we know to mislead us, instead of helping us.


You Are Peter.


In the gospel, Jesus told Peter “You are Peter and on this rock, I will build my church. The gates of the underworld can never overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’


The use of the key here signifies authority and power. The church makes reference to this, as the source of their authority through Peter.


This also points to the fact that the authority of the church comes from God. No one wakes up and starts building a church that will definitely trace its origin to Him or wakes up and begins to do whatever he likes. Every law, teaching, etc. must have an apostolic background. 


Therefore, Jesus gives Peter the full authority and power, signifying that the church as we have today is a treasure that Jesus handed over to His apostles which has been handed from one generation to another. No one takes this honour upon Himself.


2. Secondly, Jesus tells Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loose in heaven.


This authority to “bind and loose” which was granted to Peter symbolizes his role in guiding the Church by making decisions related to doctrine and discipline. This is actually the role the church plays today through the pope and the bishops. It is also the role the church exercises in the celebration of the sacraments.


Therefore, one of the responsibilities which are expected of us as Christians is to obey the norms and regulations of the church. Whatever the church says about marriage, ordination, and celebration of the sacraments etc,  stands as binding. 


The church is not a place, where you come and do whatever that you want. Many people sometimes decide to do what they think they want to do, relegating the importance of the Church. 


Let us learn to abide by the guidelines given to us by the Church. Jesus did not give the church on your head. He gives it to Peter, in whose authority and primacy the authorities share in common. We have to obey them. 


The Church is the light guiding our steps. As a priest, no matter how gifted I think I am, I must obey my bishop. I am not greater than the church. 


The church is highly organised. Therefore, Christianity is not only speaking in tongues, fasting and prayer. Let us not forget that obedience also plays a major role here. Everything that we have comes from God. We must learn to be humble. 




1. It is God who uplifts and humbles (Psalm 75:7). In the first reading, He removed Shebna and appointed Eliakim. Then in the Gospel, Jesus vests His authority on Peter and to the church. Every authority comes from God. So, do not use where you are or the position you occupy today to do whatever you like. Always know that he who gave it to you must one day take it from you.


2. It is good also to note that in the presence of God, we are nothing. Shebna is the same kind of man Jesus spoke about in Luke 12:16-21, in the parable of the rich fool. At last Shebna’s beautiful tomb and his glorious chariots became nothing.


Therefore, when we lose the fact that we are nothing before God we continue to acquire wealth and do everything to be at a certain position, but towards the end, we come to understand that no earthly authority lasts forever.


When God has given you a chance to ascend a particular position, try and use it and work for Him that generation upon generation will remember you. 


3. Finally, it is good to sometimes pause and ask ourselves who we think we are. Understanding that we are mere creatures, understanding that no one lives on earth forever, understanding that your beauty, possession, and positions amount to nothing when it comes to God, and understanding that you will one day leave this earth as you came, will help us to be humble.


4. If you are a Christian; understanding your call as a Christian, and understanding what Christianity really stands for will make us live in love rather than hatred. It will save us from substituting the salvation of souls over the quest for materialism and power.

Whatever we have, wherever we are, whoever we are going to be would have been given to another person but it came to you, Do not think you are so special. Everything is by his grace, So stay faithful to God.


5. The first reading today and the gospel today have a direct comparison in terms of roles. The role of Shebna as the master of the palace and the role of Peter as the Leader of the Church.


Jesus confirms Peter as the Master of His Palace, the Church and the Kingdom.

Shebna is given the keys to the palace to show that he has complete authority over what happens in the palace. Peter is also given the keys to the kingdom. He has a role of complete authority in the Church.


Therefore, despite their authority, what is significant here is that what they have is given. They are subject to God. They are subject to Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Let us always remember that in whatever we do or whatever position we occupy, we are subject to Someone. We are not subject to ourselves.

At last, we must give an account to someone. Everything that we have comes from God. You are not the owner. Quit using what God gives to you to intimidate others. Quit using what God gives to you to deceive, lie and mislead the souls who believe in you. You are only an instrument, God is using.

May God bless you dearest. Happy Sunday





    Amen and amen. May God help us to devote all we have to to Him. Lord receive our prayers. Amen



  3. Agudosi Cordelia chinyere says


    1. Benedicta Chukwumah says

      Thank you Padre for once more drawing my attention to the fact that whatever I am or have was received from God. May God keep you safe and bless you. Amen

  4. Regina Ajua Mobu says

    Amen! Happy Sunday to you too father.

  5. Mailoushi James says

    AMEN, remain blessed Fr. to the glory of God’s name, Amen. Happy Sunday

  6. Angela Ekere says

    Amen. Happy Sunday Padre

  7. Chizoba Ekwueme says

    Amen! God bless you more, Fr.

  8. Oby Okpalaeke says

    Amen 🙏

  9. Mariajacinta Ivoke says


  10. Dr Nick Onyia says

    Amen 🙏🏼

  11. Agina Uchenna says

    And bless you too Fr

  12. Okonkwo Victoria says

    Today that we heard the word of God and his instructions May we not harden our heart

  13. Ozoro Christiana says

    Amen 🙏

  14. Eze Juliana Nkechi says


  15. Chinyere Ezemelue says

    Teach me humility in all things Lord Jesus Christ Amen

  16. Amalu Gloria says

    Amen, the same to you fr. God bless you too. May God gives me grace to understand that everything comes from Him and be humble in whatever way God is giving me. All these we are praying through Christ our Lord .Amen.

  17. Benedicta Chukwumah says

    Thank you Padre for once more drawing my attention to the fact that whatever I am or have was received from God. May God keep you safe and bless you. Amen

  18. Bibiana Uche Unachukwu and family says


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