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May God Help Us All

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

My dear encountered couples:

In our gospel today we hear Jesus promising Peter that he will be head of his Church. “I declare that you are ‘Rock,” (Peter), and on this rock, I will build my church. I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Notice that Jesus said “will.” Peter had not yet ascended to the position of Head of the Church.

It wasn’t until after his resurrection when Jesus told Peter “Feed my lambs, tend my sheep” that Peter was officially seated in the papal chair. As we the people of the United States rule our country through the presidents we choose as successors to George Washington, Jesus Christ rules his Church through the popes he chooses as successors to St. Peter. Whoever is made Bishop of Rome is also the successor of St. Peter, with the obligation and right to “Feed my lambs and tend my sheep.” What a tremendous, formidable position that is!

There are many tremendous and formidable positions in life. Parents, teachers, doctors, you name it, even being a true friend can cause fear in those who wish to carry out their position as God wills it.

Responsibility, accountability, living up to one’s position in life is a burden, like it or not, that we all must bear in one form or the other.

We are Christians, we are Catholic. Could any position be more demanding than that? If we don’t think so, then maybe we don’t understand what we are, or what we are supposed to be. It isn’t only the pope who has a big chair to fill. God help us, God have mercy on us all! He does.

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