THE FEAST OF THE CHAIR PF ST. PETER - jerkand

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

THE FEAST OF THE CHAIR PF ST. PETER

HOMILY ON THE READINGS OF THE FEAST OF THE CHAIR OF ST. PETER, FEBRUARY 22ND, 2018.

Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4; Matthew 16:13-19

Today, the Holy Mother the Church celebrates the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, which brings to mind the task of a teacher and pastor conferred by Christ himself on him, which continues in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. In it we celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, Peter and we renew our obedience to the Magisterium of the Church in the Roman Pontiff, extended both to the truths which are solemnly defined ex cathedra, and to all the acts of the ordinary Magisterium. At this Eucharistic celebration, we therefore pray for divine guidance for our Pope and for the Church at large, that we may be led always according to the mind of Christ in truth and in love.

In the Gospel reading of today, Jesus asks his disciples a salient question about his identity. He asked them first, “who do people say I am?” they responded by mentioning four different possibilities: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. These, as a matter of fact represent variations in public opinion about Jesus Christ, reflecting the religious expectations of the people at the time. After hearing their response, Jesus asks a second slightly different question: “But who do you say I am?” By this second question he calls his disciples to go beyond the popular opinion about his identity to a new and deeper insight. He is saying, it does not matter what others think, but what they, his closest companions, believe about him. At this point Peter stepped forward and said, “You are the Christ;” which is the Greek equivalent of “Messiah.” Now, Jesus has received the answer he wanted: that he is not one of the forerunners to the Messiah, but that he is the Messiah himself.

Dear people of God, in many ways, our situation is not all that different from that of the people of the time of Christ. There are many opinions about who Jesus was and is. For many persons he was one of many wise teachers the world has known, or a noble example of love for others. Some see him as a purely spiritual saviour who came to lead our souls away from the concern of this world, while others see him as a prophet who stood against the injustice of his day and calls us to change our world for better. In the midst of these different opinions about who Jesus was and is, Jesus himself keeps challenging all of us Christians today to listen to his voice, to look within our hearts and answer his question, “But who do you say I am?”

Let us pray: God our Father, you have built your Church on the rock of St. Peter’s confession of faith. May nothing divide or weaken our union with her in faith and love, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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