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Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

My dear encountered couples:

Peter was given an awesome responsibility. He was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. His teachings, his actions, his judgments were to decide in a huge way the eternal destiny of many people. I doubt if many of us would care for that sort of responsibility. But you know what? In a way, to some degree, we all share in that responsibility.

Our teachings, our actions, our judgments go into the opening or the closing of the gates of heaven to certain other people. What people learn from you and me might influence their lives to such an extent that we lead them to heaven — or we lead them to hell. What a terrible responsibility! It means we are not merely responsible for our own salvation; we are responsible for the salvation of others, especially those in our own families.

Parents greatly influence their children. They steer them towards heaven, or away from it - by what they say and by what they do. Even children influence their parents. We all influence those we rub shoulders with. How much we don’t know. Only when we enter eternity will we find out.

Peter was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. He passed them on with special responsibility to his successors, the popes. But in some way they are also passed on to you - for you to help lock or unlock the gates of heaven for those in your life. An awesome responsibility!

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