ON THIS ROCK…

      FEAST OF THE CHAIR OF PETER

1 Peter 5:1-4

1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed.
2 Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly,
3 not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.

Matthew 16:13-19

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  

MEDITATION

St PETER seeks to motivate and inspire the ‘presbuteros’ or overseers, who posses paternal authority in the Universal Church of Christ. Notice Peters instructive word choice—Tend to the flock—which is a direct instruction he received from Christ. Jn 21:16 

Herein we recognize Peters sacerdotal charism to authoritively teach, instruct and direct his office bearers to not behave like tyrants, but to set an honorable example in the office they hold. In verse four, Peter sublimely point to Christ Jesus, whereby he indicate from whom he has received his Apostolic calling to teach and instruct!

THE GOSPEL READING: Jesus travel from Galilee to a mountainous outcrop Ceasarea Philippi; so named after Herod Philip, a place where the Greek gods were worshiped and where prostitution and animal worship was rife. Our Lord chose this setting, a bastion of evil and immorality to interrogate His Apostles about His identity and calling. 

By divine inspiration Peter identify that Christ Jesus is the Son of the living God! Peters proclamation moved Christ to appoint him as the rock upon which He will build His Church. Peter is also given the “keys” of the kingdom of heaven and earth—meaning the charism to teach authoritively—on matters of faith, hell and heaven. From the beginning, starting with Judas, the Church endured difficult times- valleys of darkness- that can be said to have been scandalous and treacherous! We are called to earnestly pray for Pope Francis; our bishops and priests, that they may remain grounded in the gospel truth. May we the laity and our spiritual leaders be rock steady in the midts of Satans attempt to lead us into the abyss! 

LET US PRAY: Psalms 23:1-6
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; 2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

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