Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle




Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 535

1st Reading – 1 PT 5:1-4

Beloved:
I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 23:1-3A, 4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Verse Before The Gospel – MT 16:18

You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church;
the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

Gospel – MT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
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.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Infallible Gift from Jesus

Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle – Feast

“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.” Matthew 16:18-19

This passage should give us great comfort. Why? Because in this passage Jesus lays the foundation of His Church. He gives to Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. And, in so doing, He establishes what has come to be known as the gift of “infallibility.”

Think about it. What does it mean to be given “the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven?” This is quite a statement. But by speaking it clearly and definitively, Jesus entrusted an incredible spiritual power to Peter. He may not have understood what this exactly meant at the time, but he would have been changed as he was entrusted with such authority.

By “infallibility” we mean that Peter was guaranteed to teach only that which was true in the areas of faith and morality. Faith and morality are what live on forever in the Kingdom of Heaven and so it is with authority in these areas that Peter is entrusted.

Furthermore, we know that the Apostles had successors. Peter went to Rome and became the Bishop of Rome. He was succeeded by Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, and so forth until the Bishop of Rome today. In 2013, Pope Francis became the 265th successor of St. Peter. This is important to note because this spiritual authority that Jesus gave to Peter did not end with his death. Rather, it continued with his successors and will continue on until the end of the world.

Today, in celebrating the great Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, we not only honor the Pope, we also rejoice in the spiritual authority that the Holy Father has been entrusted with. And knowing that Jesus is alive in such a way, through the certain teaching authority of the Keys of Heaven, we should be comforted and at peace knowing that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church. Popes are sinners, but they are also visible and infallible instruments of Christ Himself every time they exercise their sacred role.

Reflect, today, upon your faith in the Church. We do not put our faith in persons, we put our faith in Christ, His Church and in the spiritual authority entrusted to the Church. Reflect upon your own faith in this regard and if it is lacking in any way, renew it in honor of this great Feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

Lord Jesus, You entrusted Your power and authority to St. Peter and to all of his successors. I thank You for the gift of our pope. I pray for him and offer him to You for Your guidance and protection. I renew my faith in the gift of the Holy Father and in Your promise to lead us always through him. May my faith in Your Church bring me consolation and hope as we all move forward to the goal of our salvation, the glorious Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus, I trust in You.

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