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upon this rock
“ ‘You are the Messiah,’ Simon Peter answered, ‘the Son of the living God!’ ” ––Matthew 16:16
How did Jesus intend to hand on the faith to future generations? Let’s look at the words of our Lord to St. Peter in today’s Gospel. “I for My part declare to you, you are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I will build My church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it. I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:18-19). Jesus didn’t write an instruction manual. He chose a lowly fisherman (Mk 1:16) to lead the Church. From the beginning, Peter felt unworthy of his apostolic calling, saying: “Leave me, Lord. I am a sinful man” (Lk 5:8).
St. Paul also had a rocky start. He declared: “I am the least of the apostles; in fact, because I persecuted the church of God, I do not even deserve the name” (1 Cor 15:9). But Jesus didn’t leave Paul to die in his sins. “This man is the instrument I have chosen to bring My name to the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15; cf 2 Tm 4:17).
If you’re feeling unworthy as an evangelist, join the club! We tend to place saints on a pedestal. But many come from humble beginnings. Look to Sts. Peter and Paul for inspiration, not exasperation. They were simply touched by grace. How are we different?
Prayer: Father, I pray for the intentions of the Pope, successor of St. Peter and Bishop of Rome.
Promise: “I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” ––Ps 34:5
Praise: St. Peter gave St. Paul the “handclasp of fellowship” (Gal 2:9). Thank you, Lord, for establishing an apostolic Church.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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