I myself am a fellow elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ.
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Peter (1 Peter 5:1-4)
Beloved: I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 23:1 -3a.3b-4.5.b
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me;
he revives my soul. R.
He guides me along the right path,
for the sake of his name.
Though I should walk in the
valley of the shadow of death,
no evil would I fear, for you are with me.
Your crook and your staff will give me comfort. R.
You have prepared a table before me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing. R.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for length of days unending. R.
Alleluia Matthew 16:18
Alleluia You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Alleluia
“You are Peter, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 16:13-19)
At that time: When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Today we celebrate the ‘Chair of Saint Peter’. The Chair of Saint Peter represents the authority Jesus gave to Peter among the twelve apostles as their leader. Today’s Gospel brings into focus the election of Peter and his successors. When Jesus asked his disciples their perception and the peoples’ perception of him, he received several answers. It was only simon who answered “you are the Son of the living God.” Instantly, Jesus reminded simon that his answer was a revelation from God. Nonetheless, he changed his name from simon to peter, and placed authority and responsibility of the new people of God, the church, on him. It is incontrovertible to argue, as some often do, that peter is not the first Pope. Jesus himself gave him this privilege, because it was revealed by the Father. We should always try to conform to the teachings of the church, for when the Church speaks through her leaders, it is Jesus that speaks. Listen.