Imagining the reactions and thoughts of Saint Peter is something I never tire of as I read the Gospels.
He has many strange encounters throughout the Gospels. Jesus asks him questions that bring out bewildered responses, yet, in his bewilderment, his faith is honest and genuine. Saint Peter always comes alive off the page as someone genuinely in love with Jesus.
Peter was a follower not because Jesus was a cool trend at the time, not someone who was in on the ground floor and thought he could make it to the top, but he was a friend of Christ even when he didn't understand what exactly Christ's words meant, like in today's Gospel reading.
Could Peter have known what Jesus words meant the day he heard them? That he would become the rock on which Jesus would build His Church? How could Peter be a rock? What Church can be built on fragile human foundations? Peter could not have understood that a Church would that would last over two thousand years would come from his simple faith and humble obedience, that a fisherman from Galilee would become the leader of a Faith that would spread over the globe.
We, like Peter, do not understand the immensity of Christ's Words even today.
It is very difficult at times to believe that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church. Most of us have experienced doubts about the power of the Church to loose and bind on earth and in heaven.
But this is a promise made by Christ. His words are what give us the ability to rest in the knowledge that His Church will always exist to guide us to Heaven.
And, like Peter, even if we don't fully understand this great mystery, even if it tests our faith, we can simply follow Christ, believe His words about the future of the Church, and choose to not let the anxieties of the day rule our hearts.
Here's a look on the history and background of the Feast of the Chair of Peter.
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: The Ten Commandments study found here. You can find out more about her here.