< <  

Saturday, February 22, 2003

  > >

Chair of Peter

1 Peter 5:1-4
Psalm 23
Matthew 16:13-19

View Readings
Similar Reflections

the holy spirit, unity, and the pope

"Jesus replied, 'Blest are you, Simon son of Jonah! No mere man has revealed this to you, but My heavenly Father.' " —Matthew 16:17

The Lord wants to return and take us with Him in heaven in perfect, eternal love. First, however, He wants all to believe in Him and be saved (see 1 Tm 2:4). The world will believe in Jesus when Jesus' disciples are one (Jn 17:21). We become one through the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor 12:13). The Holy Spirit works through the bishops, the successors of apostles, to make us one. The Holy Spirit works through the Pope, the successor of St. Peter, to make sure the bishops are united with each other and can thereby serve the unity of the Church.

History confirms that the Holy Spirit gives us unity through the bishops and the Pope, for denominations that have tried to do without the bishops and the Pope have splintered into thousands of factions. Those Christian groups without the chair of Peter, that is, the authority of the Pope, inevitably lack the unity in the Spirit necessary for the Church to complete its work of world evangelization and prepare for Christ's final coming. It is more clear today than ever that on the rock of Peter, Jesus has chosen to build His Church (Mt 16:18). Live and love accordingly.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to lead me to die to myself and be united with You and Your Church.

Promise:  "I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven." —Mt 16:19

Praise:  "The people carried the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that when Peter passed by at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them...all of whom were cured" (Acts 5:15-16).

Reference:  (This Lent, to help share God's word, consider ordering our Bible Teachers Series tapes. Our eight tape audio series starts with AV 5A-1. Our four part video series starts with V-5A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002