Tuesday 22 February 2022 – You are Peter


1st Reading: 1Pet 5:1-4

Beloved: I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 

Gospel: Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”       

“You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church”: The feast of the Chair of St. Peter symbolizes the unity and integrity of the Church founded by Christ. The Church belongs to Christ and the rock upon which it is founded and built upon is the faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. When the followers of Christ depend more on the wealth or power or structures of the world than on the foundational faith, that church becomes founded on sand and not on the rock. In that case it shall not withstand floods, and winds shall destroy it. The Church’s instructions are founded on the teachings of Christ that, “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” (Mt 20:25). The title of the Pope, Servant of the servants of God is not decorative but very meaningful and significant.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give us the grace to grasp the true role of leadership in the Church and to practice it.


WITH PASSION FOR THE LORD: Christian faith is founded on Jesus, the Christ and Son of God. No one can compromise on this reality. Such realization and understanding cannot be derived from a human source but from the Divine; God revealed that to Peter. In the context of multiple practices and varied religious beliefs founded on multi-cultural, multi-religious contexts, the Lord asks, “Who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16: 15). To this question, Jesus is inquiring about my values and to what my life is devoted. God, spirituality and religiosity appear to have lost their traditional glamour and appear outdated beliefs and practices. We are reminded that we are responsible for our lives and actions. The more we choose to accept responsibility in life, the more power we exercise over our lives. May this mandate from the Lord move us to hold high the Christian outlook of life and lead a life which is a journey towards heaven.


PETER, THE ROCK: Before the end of his mission on earth, Jesus wanted to know whether his disciples really understood who he was. All his disciples did not understand him well. John and James understood him as the political leader and so they wanted to occupy the important positions in his kingdom (Mk 10:37). The disciples of Emmaus expected Jesus as the one who would set Israel free (Lk 24:21). Nevertheless, some disciples did discover the person of Jesus. After staying with Jesus that evening, Andrew told his brother Peter that he had found the Messiah (Jn 1:41). “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote” (Jn 1:45). For Peter, Jesus is the Messiah. The secret of Peter´s understanding is only through the revelation from the Father. The understanding of Andrew about Jesus comes from his “come and see” experience of staying with Jesus. The purpose of the call of Jesus to the apostles was “to stay with him” (Mk 3:14). Only by staying with Jesus could the disciples receive the grace of listening to the secrets of the Kingdom of God (Mk 4: 34). What is your personal relationship with him?