saturday 22 February 2020
St Peter’s Chair
This feast has been celebrated in Rome since at least the fourth century. It signifies the unity of the Church founded upon the Apostles.
Entrance Antiphon: Lk 22: 32
The Lord says to Simon Peter: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail, and, once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that no tempests may disturb us, for you have set us fast on the rock of the Apostle Peter’s confession of faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4
Now I have something to tell your elders: I am an elder myself, and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and with you I have a share in the glory that is to be revealed. Be the shepherds of the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, because God wants it; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it. Never be a dictator over any group that is put in your charge, but be an example that the whole flock can follow. When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the crown of unfading glory.
R/ The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
- The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.
- He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.
- You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
- Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell forever and ever.
Gospel Acclamation: Mt 16:18
Alleluia, alleluia! You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. Alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept with favour, O Lord, we pray, the prayers and offerings of your Church, that, with St. Peter as her shepherd, she may come to an eternal inheritance, for it is through his teaching that she holds the faith in its integrity. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 16: 16, 18
Peter said to Jesus: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God And Jesus replied: You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who at our celebration of the feast day of the blessed Apostle Peter have nourished us by communion in the Body and Blood of Christ, grant, we pray, that this redeeming exchange may be for us a Sacrament of unity and peace. Through Christ our Lord.
It is very easy to go by public opinion, instead of taking time to make out what our own stance is. When Jesus asks his disciples who people say he is, the disciples are very quick to answer. When he asks who his disciples to say who he is, it takes divine inspiration for Peter to give the right response. Peter may not be alone. Were Jesus to address the same question to you or me: ‘But you, who do you say I am?’ What would be our response? Your response, my response, reveals our knowledge of Jesus and of course the kind of relationship we have with him. It reveals the depth or shallowness of our faith in Jesus. We pray for the grace to know Jesus more and more and for our knowledge of Jesus to guide us in our daily living.