The Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle
“But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter said in reply, ‘you are the Messiah, 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 nether world shall not prevail against it….’” (Matthew 16:16-18).
When was it revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God? In Matthew chapter 3, at the Baptism of Jesus, it says, “And a voice came from the heavens, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” Indeed all the disciples heard about this even if they were not present at the time. So why was Peter the only one to answer Jesus’s question?
As a catechist of high school students, I think I may have an answer. Knowledge is not the same as understanding. While the others were wondering how to respond to this question, Peter profoundly understood the revelation at the time of Jesus’s baptism, precisely who Jesus is and the meaning to all humanity. Jesus blessed him and made him the foundation of the Church.
In the book Real Presence, attributed to Eymard, he says that Jesus handed down to his Church his very self through the Eucharist, through the Apostles. “The apostles handed it over to the priests, who bring it to us….”
Who do you say that Jesus is? Are you ready to make a bold confession of faith like Peter, or do you prefer to stand in the background? The choice is yours!
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; Praise the greatness of our God. The rock – his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. Praise God in his Holy Place, page 67 (based on Deuteronomy 32:3-4) by Bernard J. Camire, SSS
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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