(August 23th 2020)

Isaiah 22, 19-23; Psalm 138; Romans 11, 33-36; Matthew 16, 13-20

By +Guy Sansaricq

We receive today great lights on the mystery of the Church and on the irreplaceable role of Peter. Peter’s original name was Simon. As soon as Jesus called him, he changed his name telling him: “Peter will be your name.” The word Peter in Greek, Latin and even French means ROCK. No one builds a house on sand. A rock base provides solidity and durability to a building. Jesus builds a Church destined to stand firm and unshakable throughout time. Peter and his successors ensure the doctrinal stability of the Church and its durability throughout history!

Jesus also gave to Peter the power of the KEYS. “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.” Do you ever meditate on the meaning of these words? Jesus hands on to Peter all power over the conduct of his ship over the waters of time. Jesus puts a man in charge of his Church. At Peter’s death a successor will enjoy the same authority, the same power, “the powers of the keys.”

St Paul always submitted to Peter even though he was more learned than the fisherman. This is part of the amazing wisdom of God that no man can fully comprehend. (See 2nd reading)

Let us rejoice to belong to the Church of Peter now led by Pope Francis, his legitimate successor. Let us rejoice to belong to a Church not founded last week by a brilliant preacher, nor last year, nor three hundred years ago but to the Church founded by Jesus! Let us never betray our sacred heritage!