Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

Today’s feast is the Chair of St. Peter. For those Protestants who think Catholics worship Mary and the saints, this one must be a winner! Do Catholics even render honor to seats where sanctified derrières once plopped? Well, the query could become the point of departure for a serious conversation about giving thanks to God for the vocation and ministry of St. Peter, our first pope.

In the first reading Peter himself describes how those who succeed him are to carry on the ministry. Bishops are to be witnesses of Christ’s sufferings. They are to serve those committed to their care with devotion and generosity; they are to be a model for all, showing a strength and generosity that comes not from themselves, but from the Father. Poor weak, impetuous Peter! After his denial of Christ, he was able to comply with that job description only because the Lord prayed for him.

Now, sporting his “unfading crown of glory”, Peter prays for the Church and his successors. United with him and the one who forgave him for his betrayal, let us pray today for Pope Francis and his brother bishops throughout the world; for errant teachers of our Catholic faith and for unity among all Christians, especially those good people who fault us Catholics for worshiping saints and even chairs.

February 22nd, 2014