Skip to comments.FEBRUARY 22, CHAIR OF PETER, APOSTLE
Posted on 02/22/2002 4:49:38 PM PST by johniegrad
Out of the whole world one man, Peter, is chosen to preside at the calling of all nations, and to be set over all the apostles and all the fathers of the Church. Though there are in God's people many bishops and many shepherds, Peter is thus appointed to rule in his own person those whom Christ also rules as the original ruler. Beloved, how great and wonderful is this sharing in his power that God in his goodness has given to this man. Whatever Christ has willed to be shared in common by Peter and the other leaders of the church, it is only through Peter that he has given to others what he has not refused to bestow on them.
The Lord now asks the apostles as a whole what men think of him. As long as they are recounting the uncertainty born of human ignorance, their reply is always the same.
But when he presses the disciples to say what they think themselves, the first to confess his faith in the Lord is the one who is first in rank among the apostles.
Peter says: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus replies: Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. You are blessed, he means because my Father has taught you. You have not been deceived by earthly opinion, but have been enlightened by inspiration from heaven. It was not flesh and blood that pointed me out to you, but the one whose only-begotten Son I am.
He continues: And I say to you. In other words, as my Father has revealed to you my godhead, so I in my turn make known to you your preeminence. You are Peter: though I am the inviolable rock, the cornerstone that makes both one, the foundation apart from which no one can lay any other, yet you also are a rock, for you are given solidity by my strength, so that which is my very own because of my power is common between us through your participation.
And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. On this strong foundation, he says, I will build an everlasting temple. The great height of my Church, which is to penetrate the heavens, shall rise on the firm foundation of this faith.
The gates of hell shall not silence this confession of faith; the chains of death shall not bind it. Its words are the words of life. As they lift up to heaven those who contradict them.
Blessed Peter is therefore told: To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.
The authority vested in this power passed also to the other apostles, and the institution established by this decree has been continued in all the leaders of the Church. But it is not without good reason that what is bestowed on all is entrusted to one. For Peter received it separately in trust because he is the prototype set before all the rulers of the Church.
I have often wondered, some Kings, Popes, emperors, etc. have the appellation "Great" added after their names "Peter the Great of Russia," "Frederick the Great of Prussia" etc...do they give themselves that title?
Whether they give it to them selves or others give it to them, is it while they are still alive, or must they be dead and sufficient time have gone by to make an historical judgment that they were truly "Great"?
Well, I think Jerry Lee Lewis declared balls of fire
to be great when he, in fact, was not. Does that help?
Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm
But let's not pretend that God and Allah are the same
By Marvin Olasky
I've been studying Islam for the past several years while teaching a "Journalism and Religion" course at the University of Texas. I'm all for people from different religions talking with each other. I'm for the Bush strategy of building an anti-terror coalition that includes Muslim countries. Nevertheless, our desire to make friends should not lead us to obscure the truth, as America Online's primer about "Understanding Islam" did recently when it proclaimed, "Same God: Muslims accept the teachings of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Gospels." Actually, Muslims accept neither the Bible as written (see our cover story) nor the God of the Bible.
A taxpayer-subsidized lesson in manners on the website of PBS is similarly wrong in offering this statement: "One should properly say that Muslims worship God, not Allah, which is simply the word for God (with a capital G) in the Arabic language. Giving a different name to the one God worshipped by the followers of Muhammad erroneously implies that their God is different from the one God worshipped by Jews or Christians."
PBS is the party in error here. Allah is different. Muslims say their god is all-wise and all-compassionate, but Allah merely displays man's understanding of what wisdom and compassion are. There were more things in heaven and earth than Muhammad could imagine, and one of them is the wisdom and compassion of the cross. Another is the way that God can be our father rather than our master.
The Bible shows how God establishes a father-son relationship between Him and redeemed man, and a husband-wife relationship with His church. The Quran stresses a master-servant or master-slave relationship in both theology and marriage. Christians who want to follow Christ become servant-leaders. Muslims imitating their god become dictators. Muslims have a hard time understanding the Christian marriage relationship, with husbands leading but also loving their wives enough to die for them.
Does the god of Islamic imagination act toward man as God described in the Bible does? Read the Quran: If you know anything about the civilization of 7th-century west Asia, you won't find many surprises. The Quran has Allah promising gifts to his warriors, just like conquerors of old dispensed boons to theirs. Suras 44, 52, 55, 56, 69, 78, and others include descriptions of how good Muslims after death will have "a life of pleasure" complete with meat, bananas, and large-eyed, beautiful young women.
Read the Bible, and note especially the rewards promised in the New Testament: Not booty but "a new heaven and a new earth" that still includes work, but with the thorns removed. The great announcement in Revelation 21 is this: "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain."
One reason Christian relationships are different is the experience of Christ, who knew what it was to be unjustly tortured and abandoned, to endure overwhelming loss, and to be unjustly killed. The ancient Greeks distinguished between gnosis (intellectual knowledge) and epignosis, intimate understanding. God has both and, having drawn near to us, He invites us to draw near to Him.
My favorite columnist, Peggy Noonan, recently wrote about a husband and wife swimming in the ocean when "from nowhere came a shark. The shark went straight for the woman, opened its jaws. Do you know what the man did? He punched the shark in the head.... So the shark let go of his wife and went straight for him. And it killed him. The wife survived to tell the story of what her husband had done. He had tried to deck the shark. I told my friends: That's what a wonderful man is, a man who will try to deck the shark."
The Quran has no sense of a God who would become man and give His life to deck the shark. The very idea is blasphemous to Muslims: If God becomes man, doesn't that lower God to man's level? Perhaps the woman had sinned and should be eaten by the shark. Or if she was innocent, Allah from on high could zap the shark.
The Christian response is that all of us because of our sin should be sharkbait. God could simply destroy the shark from afar, but that would not be just. Besides, if God kept His distance, maybe we could venerate Him as Muslims venerate Allah, but would we love Him? As it is, we can say, "What a wonderful God, coming to earth to deck the shark."
No Catholic is going to believe that Jesus Christ founded His Church other than on Peter and the Jeremiah citation obviously does not mean the same thing to us that it means to you.
In fairness to you and other Reformation Christians who wish to share with Roman Catholics and others what is most precious to you: your faith, mature Catholics do not doubt your sincerity in that faith and we know you are quite unlikely to accept what seems to us to be the plain meaning of what we regard as "the Peter passage."
May we have peace among ourselves, accept the good faith which motivates each of us, stop bashing one another in public, agree on what we can agree on, disagree among ourselves on what we cannot agree on, and stop allowing our mutual enemies to run away with our society?
The Holy Scriptures say something to the effect that the world will know us by our love for one another. Let's go with that. It does not violate your faith or mine and it is recommended by an inerrant and unimpeachable source, on the Highest Authority.
BTTT on February 22, 2005!
Thanks for bumping. I re-read it today with the Divine Office.
Thanks for the bump.
Faith sharing bump.
Thanks for remembering.
Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined "ex cathedra" and to all the acts of the ordinary magisterium.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
You have built Your Church
on the rock of Saint Peter's confession of faith.
May nothing divide or weaken
our unity in faith and love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4
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. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 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. 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. 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."
Related Link on Vatican Website:
Read it again this morning from the Office. And again, I forgot that I posted it. Thanks.
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