February 22, 2016 1 Peter 5:1-4; Matthew 16:13-19 CHAIR OF ST PETER
INTRO – Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the chair of St. Peter.
It may be a strange sounding title … but “chair” refers to the role Peter played in the church … a role of servant leadership. The feast celebrates the authority that Jesus gave Peter and his successors to be the chief guides and teachers in the ways of the Lord.
Today’s feast comes to us from the Gospel we just read. Jesus asks the disciples who do people say He is? So they give some popular opinions … and it is Peter who boldly hits the nail on the head … and calls Jesus the Christ … the Son of God. Jesus blesses him and calls Peter the rock … the foundation of the church. The Gospel clearly defines Peter’s role of leadership and service.
We know Peter wasn’t always heroic … he had his moments of doubt … of denial and cowardice. The good news is that because of his faith in Jesus … Peter pressed on and learned to discern the message of Jesus. In turn … Jesus promised that the church would remain strong through Peter and his successors.
Just like Peter … we aren’t always heroic … we have our moments … but when we make our decisions about who Jesus is for us … we choose whether or not to follow His ways and be part of the church He established.
May our profession of faith be bold and strong like Peter’s. May we continue to follow the guidance of the church in our quest for eternal life.