Thursday, February 22, 2024

†."revealed THIS to you


Chair of St. Peter

Enshrined in the beautiful Bernini reliquary in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is the relic of the actual Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, venerated because it was from that very chair that the first Pope, the Vicar of Christ, imparted the Christian faith which was entrusted to him by Jesus Christ, and which has been passed on for 2,000 years through the Catholic bishops, and will continue until Christ returns. The Chair of St. Peter is a symbol of the authority and primacy of the first Bishop of Rome, and, through communion with the Roman Pontiff and his successors, the unity of the Universal Church. The feast day of the Chair of St. Peter is celebrated on February 22nd.
See More About Today's Feast

†Quote of the Day

"Let us thank God for having called us to His holy faith. It is a great gift, and the number of those who thank God for it is small."
–St. Alphonsus Liguori

Today's Meditation

"[The] ultimate end of man we call beatitude. For a man's happiness or beatitude consists in the vision whereby he sees God in His essence. Of course, man is far below God in the perfection of his beatitude. For God has this beatitude by His very nature, whereas man attains beatitude by being admitted to a share in the divine light."
—St. Thomas Aquinas, p. 119
An Excerpt From
Aquinas's Shorter Summa

Daily Verse

"Peter [said] to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.""
–Acts 2:38-39


St. Margaret of Cortona

St. Margaret of Cortona (1247-1297) was born in Tuscany, Italy, the only child of a working-class family. She lost her mother at age seven, and had a poor relationship with her stepmother. Margaret was spoiled, willful, reckless, and beautiful, and at the age of seventeen she left her father's house in the night and became the mistress of a young nobleman. She lived with him in his family castle for nine years and bore him a son, but he did not marry her due to her lower social class. One day he did not return home from a journey, and his hound came back to the castle alone. The dog led Margaret into the nearby wood where she discovered her lover brutally murdered. This shook her to her core. Her eyes were opened to the sinfulness of her way of life, and she became deeply repentant. She left his family castle with her son and sought out the Franciscan friars for spiritual direction. She then reformed her life through intense prayer, penance, and self-discipline, eventually joining the Third Order of St. Francis, and living in strict poverty and great charity towards the poor. St. Margaret of Cortona is the patron saint of the homeless, reformed prostitutes, midwives, single laywomen, the mentally ill, and the falsely accused. Her feast day is February 22nd.


Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

Reading 1 1 Pt 5:1-4

I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Verse Before the Gospel Mt 16:18

You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church;
the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

Gospel Mt 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."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 16:13-19

Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Did you know that there is a physical chair of St. Peter located in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican? Tradition holds that it is the original wooden seat used by St. Peter whenever he preached or taught the Christians in Rome. The chair was later encased in bronze, and is an impressive work of art.

But today's feast is not about a piece of furniture. It's about what it signifies. The Chair of St. Peter stands as "a symbol of the special mission of Peter and his successors to tend Christ's flock, keeping it united in faith and in charity" (Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, February 19, 2012). It's a sign that Jesus has kept the promise he made to St. Peter, which we read in today's Gospel: "The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against [the Church]" (Matthew 16:18).

It's no secret that, over the centuries, some of Peter's successors have been less than exemplary in their faithfulness to God. Yet God has always been faithful to his promise! He has continued the unceasing flow of graces to the world through the Church. In fact, in spite of many forces of darkness coming against it from within and from outside, the Church remains "united in faith and in charity."

We can recount the ways in which the graces and blessings of the Church have touched our own lives: the youth group that led us to experience the joy of Christ, the Catholic school teacher who taught us the truths of the faith, or the chapel that became our place of encounter with the Lord. In these ways, and so many more, the Church has helped heaven come to earth in our lives!

So trust that God is faithful to his promises! He will continue to keep the Church united, even as he deepens our communion. In the end, Jesus will be victorious over all the forces of darkness in this world—and in our hearts.

"Lord, build your Church up in unity and charity so that it may continue to be a stream of life and grace to the world."

1 Peter 5:1-4
Psalm 23:1-6


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"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."....."
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, today's Gospel spells out the importance of Peter's confession. For it is upon this inspired confession that the Church is built. Not, mind you, on popular opinion, which is shifting and indecisive, and not on personal holiness, which is all too rare. It is built upon the inspired authority of Peter—and I say, "Thank God!"
We make this troubling and extraordinary claim that it is through a special charism of the Spirit that Peter and his successors govern the Church. Now, I realize that I have many Protestant readers and that this text has been, between Catholics and Protestants, a stumbling block. Let me clarify what is and is not at stake here.
What is the focus of Peter's confession? It has to do with who Jesus is. This is the rock upon which the Church is built. Peter is right about who Jesus is: a man who is also the Son of the living God. And this is the source and ground of the whole operation."
End Quote Bishop Barron.

EWTN news email said:
"Today the Church celebrates the Chair of St. Peter.

The "chair" to which this feast refers is the cathedra, or office, of the Apostle Peter. Given by Christ to St. Peter (Matthew 16:13-18), Peter's supreme pastoral office is passed to each of his successors as Bishop of Rome, that is, where Peter last served and where he died a martyr.

Throughout the 2,000-year history of the Church, there have been 266 popes, beginning with Peter. Among them are many saints and martyrs who have devoted themselves to the Gospel."

Why did our Lord choose Saint Peter as the "Rock" to found the Church on earth?

Because it was a revelation from the Father and the Holy Spirit. Peter was the one who answered right when our Lord asked "But, who do YOU say that I Am?"
Peter answered with a confession of what He knew was a deep conviction and truth in his heart unlike all the rest: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
From this heartfelt answer, to the world, this is our calling; to call upon our Lord with a confession and say to Him: "LORD YOU ARE THE CHRIST! OUR SAVIOR! The very Son of the Living God!".
And we could write a few more thousand books on this revelation, like the immaculate conception. Why Savior? Why Son of the LIVING God?

Because God is unfathomable. And so to us His beloved creatures, and so called "children", it means everything. He desired to Father us. And if He'd have enough, He'd stop having us. But apparently He loves us! And so, this revelation is HUGE.

The chair of saint peter is to place this message to the world, yes through the succession of the Pope, but even more-so, the very message to be lived out by every Christ follower, to confess the God's Son is King of the Universe, and King of our Hearts. That's the purpose of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, which the Pope is entrusted with. And woe to those who have been entrusted with much....for very much is upon their soul. And we are one body in the Church of Christ the Lord, the first Church in the world that still lives and breathes today.

Today it is increasingly persecuted, but, this is a sure sign that it is growing. Growing pains, and displacing evil spirits with the Holy Spirit of God that dwells in the heart of Jesus and desires to dwell in all of us today!

Lord, the chair of St. Peter, you have set for the world to have a church. It is then, a seat of order. We know there is order in Heaven now, because Thou hast said "Let it be done....on it is in Heaven." Lord, They Kingdom Come, May Thy will be done through me.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 19:11

11 Good sense makes one slow to anger,

and it is his glory to overlook an offense.


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