Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chair of St. Peter

Today's feast celebrates the confession of St. Peter, but more importantly the Apostolic succession. Sometimes we become so overwhelmed by the rules and rubrics of the Church, that we miss its spirituality, mission, and purpose. When we do confirmation preparation we sometimes require service hours. The question invariably comes up, "how many hours," and "does this count?" The Church is an instrument that continues to convey the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. Through it's teach and proclamation of the Gospel it unfolds the 'Good News' of Jesus Christ for all men and women.

Surely our Church has not always been faithful to its call or to the lifestyle upon which it was founded. But through the courage of faithful peoples it was challenged to return to its origins. The text from St. Paul in which he describes the grace poured into fragile vessels. That is the Church in which we live. What is that story, an angel is speaking with Jesus about his time on earth. The angel asks Jesus who is in charge of the Church. Jesus describes St. Peter and the apostles. After a pause the angel asks if there is a back-up plan in place.

Through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist we continue to nurture and nourish the Church. Jesus gives us the gift of the Church to be a sign and symbol of God's Kingdom in the world today. The sacraments are those life giving graces that continue to strengthen us for the journey.

As a people of God we have to be courageous enough to graciously receive what God has given us and to live according to the words of Christ and the teachings of the Church. The Holy Father and the Bishops are our guides and shepherds in the communion of the Church. By their teaching and proclamation we allow our lives to seek what is good and true.

We are not celebrating a piece of furniture today, but rather a living breathing community which gives life to the world.

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