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February 22

FOCUS:  The Church is how we build God’s kingdom on earth.


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1 Peter 5:1-4

Psalm 23

Matthew 16: 13-19

How you answer the question in today’s gospel makes all the difference in the world and for your eternity, but be careful when you do answer it. “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” If you reply as St. Peter did, we are declaring that Jesus is our Lord. If we say that Jesus is our Lord, then He must be the Lord of our entire life. Not just the time we are at Mass but everywhere.

Today our Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. The Feast dates back to the 3rd Century in recognition of St. Peter being the leader of the Catholic Church, and in being so, he received the pastoral and teaching authority conferred by Christ. St. Peter was the first Bishop of Antioch, and thus the seat of the Church was in Antioch. When St. Peter went to Rome, he maintained the role of “Cathedra” – the teaching and pastoral authority of the Church.

Today we celebrate the Cathedra, or seat of the successors of St. Peter, our popes through the years have maintained that pastoral and teaching authority. So, when we say that Jesus is Lord, we must know that it was Jesus who established our Catholic Church, and it was Jesus who gave St. Peter and St. Peter’s successors the pastoral and spiritual authority.

When I visited St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, I got a chance to see the chair that St. Peter used. It was a powerful moment to reflect on how beautiful it is that we have a Church established by Jesus that reaches to the ends of the earth. Our Church is for everyone. Our Mass is celebrated in the same way throughout the earth. Our Sacraments, all established by Jesus, are celebrated the same way throughout the world.

Take some time today to give thanks to Jesus for establishing His Church, and then reflect on how you can follow the faith and morals as taught by the Church Jesus established.

And then go smile at God today! It’s a beautiful day!

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