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Peter’s Chair

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St. Peter the Apostle is remembered as the apostle upon whom the Lord gave the mandate to take care of His flock.  John gives us the account in Jn. 21:15-17 where he commissions Peter three times to “feed my sheep.”  This is in keeping with His words in Matthew’s gospel:

You are Kepha, and upon this Kepha, I will build my Church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

The feast of the Cathedra of Peter commemorates the commissioning of Peter.  At a time when people would like to have a Christianity suited to their taste, a Do-It-Yourself-Christianity, if you will, the Cathedra of Peter stands out as a source of unity and a guarantee that the memory of the Lord and His Gospel is kept pure and untarnished.  Peter’s confession of faith is the norm of the faith of Christians.  Some wanting to fix the foundation of their faith on the Bible would deny this.  Yet the so-called “Bible alone” faith has caused the fragmentation of the Christian faith into “denominational faiths.”  But didn’t St. Paul already talk against denominations when he wrote to the Corinthians about the division in their community?  And didn’t the Lord validate the role of Peter when he told him to “feed My sheep”?
As we remember Peter on this feast, we also remember his successor, John Paul II.

John Paul, this “servant of the servants of God”, who has written more than any Pope in history, given more public locutions than any occupant of the Chair of Peter, is now unable to speak verbally in a manner that can be easily understood. He is unable to walk. He is suffering and probably living what some would perceive as a diminished “quality of life”. He is increasingly “disabled” by Parkinson’s disease and seems a physical shadow of his former self. Or is he? He is now speaking symbolically, in a language beyond words, one that transcends time, culture, nation and age. The content of this last living encyclical letter, the one framed by his visible witness in that chair, is the summary of everything he has been telling all who would listen for twenty five years. It is more important than even the vast rich treasury of teachings that he will soon leave behind. He is being transfigured before our eyes, configured to the Image of the Crucified One whom He serves. He has become a sign of contradiction like the Savior that he follows, the One who gave His life for us all and transformed suffering into redemptive love. That same kind of poured out life is now being manifested in one of His sons, Karol Wojtyla, for the world not only to see but, more importantly to understand and to imitate.  Source

Originally posted 2005-02-22 06:06:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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