Saint Peter’s Chair – Feast

1 Peter 5:1-4; Psalm 22(23); Matthew 16:13-19

'You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church". There are a number of puns here - Peter means Rock, for one. They were at Caesarea Phillipi which is close to the location of where a river springs from a rock - although that was a site of pagan worship, the river being named for the Greek God Pan. That rock had many niches, in which statues of the Greek gods were placed.

It seems not probable that Jesus would ask Peter to build his church on a Pagan Deity's temple - more likely that Jesus' "rock" was himself, and that Peter would build the church upon Jesus. The Greek word used is Feminine, whereas Peter (Petros) is masculine, and from early times the church was often known as the bride of Christ.

When you given something a name - for example, a pet - then you are taking that thing into your control - you name it, it is yours. So, with Peter, Jesus names him 'Rock' and claims him as his. Now, when he asks Peter to build his church, Peter can not refuse. When we name someone at their baptism, we are naming them for Jesus too - and so we all become rocks upon which Jesus builds his church.

We are all rocks in this living church, the church of Christ.


Posted in Daily Reflection.