The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Obedience so he can always be obedient to Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and by growing in the Virtue of Prudence so he can prudently asses and confess his sins regularly in the Sacrament of Penance.
Feast of the Chair of St. Peter – February 22 – Mt 16:13-19
After warning the disciples of the poisonous teachings of the Pharisees, Jesus leads the Apostles on a grueling walk (30+ miles) north to Caesarea Philippi, the home of a temple where the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus was falsely worshiped as the “son of God.” It is before this false temple, Jesus reveals Himself as the true Son of God and establishes Peter as the exclusive Patriarch of His unconquerable Holy Catholic Church.
There was much speculation as to the identity of Christ and Jesus uses the confusion to reveal Himself to the Apostles. He asks: “Who do people say the Son of Man (a title associated with the Messiah Jesus uses for Himself) is?” They respond, confirming most thought Jesus was a great prophet who had returned, John the Baptist (as Herod presumed), Elijah or Jeremiah. Jesus goes from the general to the specific to force the Apostles to think for themselves: “But who do you say that I am?”; His identity had been a burning question for the Apostles themselves (Mt 8:27).
Simon Peter, moved by the Father through the Holy Spirit, denies the “godship” of Emperor Augustus and proclaims, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus confirms His identity when He blesses Simon and renames him “Peter”, meaning “Rock.” The renaming of Simon reveals Peter’s unique role in God’s plan as the leader (“chair”) of Jesus’ Holy Catholic Church. The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter (there is a chair representing Peter’s chair in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome) has been celebrated since ancient times, recalling Peter’s appointment by Jesus and the authority of successor popes.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by the Divine Prudence and Divine Knowledge of Jesus as He chooses the most unlikely of men as the first pope: Peter is a holy, but uneducated and unconnected blue collar worker (a fisherman); Peter has many flaws, including being prideful, rash and cowardly; nevertheless, Jesus sees the greatness within Peter, He trains Peter and appoints him as the leader of His Holy Catholic Church after the Ascension; confirming Jesus’ choice, Peter shepherds the Church for several decades firmly establishing it despite the relentless murderous attacks by the Jews and Romans.
Be obedient to the Holy Catholic Church
Realize: In His Divine Wisdom, Jesus deliberately establishes a patriarchy, choosing Peter and his successors as the exclusive male leaders of His Holy Catholic Church.
Believe: Refresh your understanding of the Hierarchical Constitution of the Church (CCC 100, 552, 871-896, 937-939, 1463, 2034).
Pray: St. Peter, great first Pope of the Church, pray for me that I grow in the Virtue of Obedience (a part of Justice) so I never rebel against God and I always submit to the authority of His chosen leaders and the teachings of His Holy Catholic Church.
Prudently assess and confess your sins
Realize: Significant numbers of Catholic men are in a state of mortal sin for they have failed to keep the minimal requirement to receive the Sacrament of Penance at least once a year (a precept of the Church – CCC 2042). Rather than a burden, realize that every Catholic man has the great privilege, directly granted by Jesus, to be blessed and absolved of his sins in the Sacrament of Penance.
Believe: Reflect upon the Sacrament of Penance (CCC 553, 1440-1449).
Pray: St. Peter, pray for me that I grow in the Virtue of Prudence so I can thoroughly examine my conscience and recognize all of my sins, have perfect contrition, and receive the forgiveness of my sins in the Sacrament of Penance.