Latin: Cathedra Petri
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
REFLECTION: you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,
My father had his favorite chair. The most important seat in many family homes is Dad’s chair. It is his throne. Dad is the authority, the worker, the caregiver, the consoler, teacher and leader of the family. You can sit in his chair when he is not home, though you give him his chair when he arrives. We all remember Archie Bunker's favorite chair from All in the Familly and Martin Crane's raggedy misplaced chair in Frazier.
Priests have chairs separate from the deacons. Bishops have their special chairs reserved for them when they preach. The Rabbi also had a chair while many stood around him to listen.
St Peter actually had a chair as well. It is encased in a bronze sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in St Peter's Basilica in Rome. It also means an "office" of the Church. St Peter, the head of the Church, held a special role in teaching and leading the Church. And every pope or subsequent successor of Peter holds this chair or office.
Bernini's sculptured chair of St Peter also has the statues of four Doctors of the Church--Sts Augustine, Ambrose , John Chrysostom and Athanasius--holding it up. They are not exalting St Peter but are supporting his teachings and commands. We, too, have a duty to support the pope, and not criticize or demean him but we are to pray for him. The pope is included in our priests to pray for in the Prayer for Priests.
Today, if you personally have signed up a priest or bishop for PAPA get in touch with them and see if they need anything from PAPA and remind them we are praying for them. Be sure and sign up more priests for PAPA so we can support them in our prayers.
God Bless You