Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle
Malvern Minute

 

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle

February 22, 2021

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA

 

First Letter of Saint Peter

Psalm 23

Matthew 16:13-19

 

            The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle is not a celebration involving a “piece of furniture.”  Since the fourth century, this feast has been celebrated as a sign of unity of the Church founded upon that Apostle as recorded in today’s Gospel narrative of Saint Matthew.  What we learn today is that this feast signifies the teaching authority of the Pope as the successor of Peter.

            Authority in the Church, or elsewhere, can be intimidating if thought of in terms of who might be in charge.  The task of leadership is service.  Peter himself in today’s first reading directs priests to give to those entrusted to them a shepherd’s care.  This type of care involves deep concern and a loving response to all who are members of the Christian faith.

            I suspect the greatest challenge in providing a shepherd’s care has been the blessings provided by Vatican II.  The Council of Trent necessarily strove for unity after the Protestant Reformation.  Unfortunately, there was sometimes imposed a western European mindset that overlooked the richness of spirituality and liturgical expression of various cultures.  We are presently realizing the Hispanic, Native American, African American, Asian and other cultures contributions to our American Church.  This is a good thing!

            Friends, as we celebrate this feast, the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle, we must be mindful of the necessity and challenges of leadership and authority in the Church.  The model is given us by Jesus, namely, a shepherd’s care.

Question of the Day:  How will you pray for others that their faith in Jesus may not fail?

Prayer:  “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.”  Psalm 23

Prosit

 

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