The Chair of St. Peter

1 Peter 5: 1-4         Mathew 16: 13-19

Theme: The authority of the church

Today the church celebrates the “Chair of Saint Peter”, a celebration that commemorates the authority handed over by Jesus to the Apostle Peter. This power and authority that was given to Peter in the gospel reading of today, is also given to all his successors as the first Pope of the church. In the gospel reading of today, we see how Peter was chosen by Jesus and the statement that was made by Jesus before his pronouncement. Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven”. This was because of the way he described who Jesus is. In the same way, it will be proper for us to also answer the question that was raised by Jesus, who is Jesus to you as a person? The answer to this question for you as an individual will make a lot of difference in the way you live your life as an individual. Jesus means different things to different people. But the ability to have the right understanding of who Jesus is to you as a person, will make a lot of difference, just like in the case of Simon Peter.

Use your understanding of who Jesus is to you and your personal experience in such a way that it will continue to promote God’s presence in our world and continue to help you to become a better version of yourself as you make your way to heaven. Your knowledge of Jesus should not be selfish and self-centered, rather it should be selfless and guided by your love for God. What this simply means is that we should build a better relationship with God, that will continue to build a stronger bond between you and God. Don’t join the group that remembers that there is God only when they are in trouble, when everything is going on well for them, they do not remember that there is God. Nobody enjoys a friendship that is selfish and exploitative, so why do it with God. Let your friendship with God be always, like you will treat a true friend, not only when you need his help.

We can begin by taking seriously the admonition of St. Peter in the 1st reading of today. Try to treat everybody right, just the same way you would like to be treated and God will continue to bless you. May the Lord bless his words in our hearts in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, Amen. Peace be with you.



The Chair of St. Peter, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp