Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today the Church commemorates the teaching authority of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle. Primacy is given to Peter among all the apostles, and with good reason. It is Peter who confesses his faith to the Lord, a brave and solitary act. Peter, filled with love and awe of the God-man, claims that Jesus is the one Israel has long awaited. This is a very different Peter than the one commanding, ‘Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!’ (Lk 5:8). Only our Lord had prescient mercy on the depth of Peter’s confession, knowing this same disciple would later claim ‘I do not know the man!’ (Matt 26:72). Peter is given the keys to the Kingdom because in him we see an extreme example of a loved sinner. Over the course of his intimate discipleship, Peter fell shamefully low, but never gave up on himself, or on the Lord. Peter allowed the Lord to touch his wounds in order to heal him. Can we allow Him to do the same in us?
—Mr. Adam Bryan, nSJ is a Jesuit novice completing his long experiment at Creighton Prep.
“People may laugh at you because you believe in the gentle and unassuming power of mercy. But do not be afraid!”
—Pope Francis at the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2016
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