Thought of the day
Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Chair of Saint Peter, apostle - Feast
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"Upon this rock I will build my church"

Saint Leo the Great (?-c.461), Pope and Doctor of the Church 
4th sermon for the anniversary of his ordination ; PL 54, 14a ; SC 200
"Upon this rock I will build my church"

Nothing escaped the wisdom and power of Christ: the elements of nature lay at his service, spirits obeyed him, angels served him... And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the apostles and Fathers of the Church. Thus, even though there are many priests and pastors among the People of God, Peter governed them all in person while Christ also governs them in the capacity of head...

The Lord asks all the apostles what people think of him and they all say the same thing so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance. But when the Lord demands to know what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord is he who is the first in dignity of the apostles. As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”, Jesus answers him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” That is to say: blessed are you because my Father taught this to you. Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you. It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover me but He whose only Son I am.

“And so I say to you”, that is to say: just as my Father has manifested my divinity to you so I am making known your superiority to you. “You are Peter”, namely: I am the unshakeable rock, the cornerstone who makes two peoples one (Eph 2,14), the foundation other than which no one can lay any other (1Cor 3,11). But you also, you are rock since you are impregnable by my strength, and what I have by virtue of my power you have in common with me by the fact that you participate in it. “On this rock I will build my Church”... On the firmness of this foundation, he says, will I build an everlasting temple, and my Church, whose summit is to reach to heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.

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