After reflecting on the inconsistency of Simon Peter, we celebrate the feast of his Chair, his exalted position or, rather, the supreme task he is entrusted with, that of being Peter (Petros), the rock (petra) upon which the Lord will build his Church.
Despite his shortcomings, Peter’s love for Jesus is real and abiding. He shows leadership qualities, as a “rock-solid” character, that make Jesus choose him to be the leader of the group and have him in his privileged company, with the brothers James and John.
On the other hand, the feast underlines God’s prerogative and power to choose people God wills. There may be more capable men, but Jesus’ choice of Peter remains. Thus, while Peter is the “rock” upon which Christ will build his Church, it is not Peter’s power that is to be relied upon. (We already know how weak he can be.) God, in Christ, is the power that will allow Peter to accomplish his task faithfully and successfully.
The truth to this is attested by the Church’s continuing growth and existence after more than 2,000 years, despite trials and persecutions, including the weaknesses of members and Popes, mirroring Peter’s weakness. God is the “wind beneath the wings” of Peter and his successors in the leadership of the Church.
Do we realize that, despite the many weaknesses of her members, the Church remains the spotless Bride of Christ?
Gospel • MATTHEW 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.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.