Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
Today is the feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, which celebrates the office of Peter, the first of the twelve Apostle, who was designated by Jesus Christ to be the universal pastor of his entire Church. The office of Peter continues in the Church in St. Peter’s successors, the bishops of Rome, whom we call the Pope. This is the feast, then, also of the Holy Father’s authority and mission for the universal Church, as successor of Peter. Let us remember three essential things, as we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle.
- The Choice of Jesus:
It is Jesus who chooses whomever He wishes to choose. We know that Peter was a simple man, in fact he was just a fisherman. The man who denied the Master three times, and who, according to tradition, would flee Rome during the persecution. Yet, Jesus chooses him. Jesus makes the Rock on which the Church would be built. God’s choices at times baffle us. It is the grace of God that works in all of us, on our part we cannot do anything except co-operating in the plan of God.
- Ministry comes from the will of Christ:
Today’s feast should help to re-assure us Jesus’ words, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church” remind us that the Petrine ministry comes from the will of Christ for his Church. And we as Catholics can appreciate that without the Petrine ministry at the heart of the Church, the Church would have been blown about by every rogue idea and every wind of change, and would have more than likely suffered from crippling disunity.
- Leadership as a movement from power to powerlessness:
The primacy of leadership is on Peter. We often think that leadership is power. But according to Jesus it is different. The logic of Jesus is different. Leadership according to Jesus, is the movement from power to powerlessness. But peter in his powerlessness was powerful.