Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus,
The gospel of this 21st Ordinary Sunday explains the importance of Peter and the continuation of the Petrine Office relating to the Bishop of Rome. As Catholics we believe that the Papacy emerged from Christ’s mission to Peter as noted in the gospel reading wherein Jesus changed Simon’s (Peter) name by calling him Kepha (Aramaic) / petra (Greek). By this Jesus meant to designate Peter as the foundation of the Church he intended to establish. Hence, Peter was to be the sign of stability, permanence and unity. Moreover, Peter is promised both the keys to heaven’s Kingdom, and the power to bind and loose in Christ’s own name. Peter, who eventually went to Rome and was martyred, functioned as chief shepherd, principal spokesman for the Apostles, principal teacher and the pace-setter for apostolic endeavour.
As the Vatican Council I declared, all Bishops of Rome (Roman Pontiffs) are Peter’s heirs and sharers of his see. Even to this time and forever Peter lives and governs and exercises judgment in his successors, the bishops of the Holy Roman See. Therefore, whoever succeeds Peter in this Chair, holds Peter’s primacy over the whole Church according to the plan of Christ Himself. One of the responsibilities of Peter and his successors, the Popes, is that of speaking for Christ = safeguarding God’s Wisdom and interpreting it. From his Chair in Rome, Peter still speaks words of faith to guide and strengthen us in our belief.
Let us thank God for giving us the Papacy, a source of rocklike certainty in life’s religious pilgrimage here below.
Let us love our Pope Francis and continue to pray for him.
Have a great week-end!