One Minute Reflection – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Psalms 23:1-3, 4,5, 6, Matthew 16:13-19
“Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and, whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” … Matthew 16:18-19
REFLECTION – “Peter was to receive on deposit, the keys of the Church, or rather the keys of heaven and, he should see himself entrusted with the numerous people. What did the Lord actually say to him? “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19).
For Peter had a somewhat abrupt character; if he had been without sin what sort of forgiveness would the disciples have received from him? This is why divine grace allowed him to fall into a certain fault, in order that his own trial should make him benevolent towards others.
Do you see how God can let someone fall into sin; this Peter, the leader of the Apostles, the unshakable foundation, indestructible rock, first in the Church, impregnable harbour, unshakable tower — this same Peter who had said to Christ: “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mt 26:35), Peter who, by a divine revelation, had confessed the truth: “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16). (…)
But as I said, God arranged it in this way and allowed Peter to sin because he had it in mind, to confer numerous people on him and he feared, that his roughness, joined to his impeccability, might make him unsympathetic towards his brothers.
He gave way to sin so that, remembering his own failure and the kindness of the Lord, he might testify to others, a grace of philanthropy in accord with the divine design conceived by God. The fall had been permitted to the one who was going to see himself entrusted with the Church, the Pillar of the Church, the Harbour of the Faith; the fall had been permitted to Peter, the Doctor of the Universe, in order that, the forgiveness received, might remain the foundation of love for others.” – (Attr) St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – On the apostle Peter and the prophet Elijah
PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.
2 thoughts on “One Minute Reflection – 22 February – ‘Upon this rock …’ Matthew 16:13-19”
Your posts grow more precious . Sometimes now the very things I had been pondering are addressed by the writings of some saint or another which you send. Thank God and thank you.
I pray you are doing well, and having in particular a blessed Lent. You, and your invaluable apostolate are in my prayers.
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Dear Bishop Dolan,
How lovely to hear from you and thank you most kindly for letting me know that the posts are an inspiration to you. This makes my heart sing. The posts seem to get more and more difficult, in the sense of the amount of work and research that goes into them. So your words make it all worthwhile – thank you!
I, we, are most grateful for your prayers – we are ‘alone’ as you know and, at times, this is a difficult place, without a Priest. Still, we are immensely blessed to have found our path – especially in these most ugly times in the world.
Lent is better than usual – for our focus is more directed, if this makes sense – i.e. being alone we can take nothing for granted – we MUST make the effort to work harder at our spiritual life.
God love and care for you, my favourite Bishop in all the world! 🙏😊