22 Feb – Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, the Apostle
The feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Rome, Italy has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on Jan 18, in commemoration of the day when St. Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on Feb 22. At each place, a chair (cathedra) which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass was venerated.
– Patron Saint Index
1 Peter 5:1-4
Now I have something to tell your elders: I am an elder myself, and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and with you I have a share in the glory that is to be revealed. Be the shepherds of the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, because God wants it; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it. Never be a dictator over any group that is put in your charge, but be an example that the whole flock can follow. When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the crown of unfading glory.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’
“You are Christ, the Son of the living God”
When there is a love interest, it is natural to know who you are to that person. You want to know what you mean to them and if you hold this special place in the beloved’s heart. I watched the scene in the Passion of Christ when Jesus asked Peter this question and how he replied so spontaneously. Jesus and Peter seems to have these candid yet ‘expecting-an-honest-response-conversation’, it shows their closeness but also shows how ‘real’ they are with each other. I for one know that I cannot ask everyone such questions, it can be blatantly awkward.
The friendship of Jesus and Peter is also special, they had the same mission and knew each other, only in the way best friends connected.
Peter, despite spending hours with the Lord, did not mistake Him as being his equal. He recognised the Lord because He was attuned with the Holy Spirit. It is the same for us, when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and rule our lives, we will be able to recognise Jesus in each person and situation.
Do you recognise Jesus today? Do you believe that He has formed this Church on the Rock?
I for one, never understand why people leave the Catholic faith and go on to start their own churches? Why are people leaving a banquet of the King to eat a home-cooked meal of their own? Jesus has laid a foundation that no one can topple and destruct, though many have failed.
(Today’s Oxygen by Josephine Dionisappu)
Prayer: Lord, create a new heart and a new spirit within us. Help us to find our true selves in you, the Shepherd of our souls.
Thanksgiving: For you are gracious, merciful and you are Love. Receive O Lord, our contrite hearts, which yearns only for you. Thank you for your guiding staff.