22 Feb The Role of Pope (Matt 16:18) by Rosemary Bernth
“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.”~Matthew 16:18 (full readings)
Rosemary’s Reflections: In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus renames Simon Peter, making him the Church’s first pope. The duty of that position is not an easy one. Notice how Jesus mentions the netherworld being unable to prevail against the Church. That is because it sits on a firm foundation. Although the Church has been shaken by scandals and mandates, it has not fallen apart. The Holy Father is the successor of St. Peter, meaning he must also be a strong rock to lead the millions of Catholics worldwide. Although it is sad to see Pope Benedict XVI resign, he wants what is best for the Church and believes it is time to pass the baton onto someone with more endurance. Many critics will say this is a sign of weakness, but we as Catholics see it as a sign of true leadership.
* Rosemary Bernth (LIFE Runner) was a journalist for the Diocese of Sioux City’s newspaper and is now a writing/travel graduate student at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Faith Challenge: As we wait for the new pope to be chosen, let us pray he will be strong enough to defend and lead the Church during these stormy times.
Feast Day: Chair of St. Peter
Faith Quote: “Ever since the start of my ministry as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ.”~Pope Benedict XVI