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THURSDAY OF THE EIGHTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, AUGUST 05, 2021



A Gospel according to Mt 16:13-23


Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and 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.”

Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”


REFLECTION:

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.”


In this passage we can discern a few terms that are truly part of the Catholic lingo: the Primacy of Peter, and Papal Infallibility.


These terms were not invented a few years ago, or even 500 years ago. They have been part of the Church since about the year 200.

“[T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly grasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? ‘Behold, we have left all and have followed you’ [Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28]” (Who Is the Rich Man That Is Saved? 21:3–5 [A.D. 200]).*

And Pope Leo I around the year 445:

“Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same rank. Even among the most blessed apostles, though they were alike in honor, there was a certain distinction of power. All were equal in being chosen, but it was given to one to be preeminent over the others. . . . [So today through the bishops] the care of the universal Church would converge in the one See of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head” (ibid., 14:11).*

So you see, since the beginning of Christianity, one of the Bishops has been in charge of his brothers and the whole Church. The Vicar of Christ is the Pope, and we need to pray for him to be faithful to her and to Jesus himself.


Papal Infallibility is a more misunderstood term. This doesn't means that whatever the Pope says "is the law", The following excerpt from a Vatican II document explains it better:

“Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly. This is so, even when they are dispersed around the world, provided that while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves and with Peter’s successor, and while teaching authentically on a matter of faith or morals, they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church. Their definitions must then be adhered to with the submission of faith” (Lumen Gentium 25).

So the Pope, supported by the Bishops, is to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. Bishops speak in the name of Christ in matters of moral and faith. They remind us of eternal truths that we must not ignore, or try to change "with the times".


But we know the Church is ruled by men that are weak and frail human beings. And her leaders have not been the greatest followers of Christ from time to time. We are members of PAPA and have pledged to pray for them every day for their sanctity and perseverance.


When you look at our Logo, you can see in the "I <3 PAPA" the following:

1. The “I”—God, the Father; God, the Holy Spirit; also the PAPA members.

2. The Heart—the first stroke is the Heart of Mary; the second stroke, the Heart of Jesus.

3. PAPA—God, the Father; the Holy Father; the priests; or the lay fathers.



Today, let us offer our PAPA Prayer for Priests especially for Our Holy Father, the Pope. We pray he will always be a true and faithful disciple of Jesus. Teach the prayer to someone else, especially someone that might not completely agree with the Pope, or the teachings of the Church.


God bless y'all!


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PAPA Foundation
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