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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Thursday 18th in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mt 16,13-23): Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked his disciples, «Who do people say the Son of Man is?». They said, «For some of them you are John the Baptist, for others Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets». Jesus asked them, «But you, who do you say I am?». Peter answered, «You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God». Jesus replied, «It is well for you, Simon Barjona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. And now I say to you: You are Peter (or Rock) and on this rock I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven» (…).

"Primate" of the Pope

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Christ asks his disciples about who do people say He is. Among the Apostles, Simon Peter quickly answers, and inspired by God, affirms the divinity of Jesus. The Lord, by expressing himself in the first person, confers on him the "primacy" of the Church: He assigns to him, in a “precise” and “singular” way, the "power of the keys to the Kingdom”.

Jesus established a "community of faith". Its mission is to continue the Salvation through the Sacraments and the preaching of the Word of God. It stands to reason that Jesus Christ decided to bestow a figure to the Church —the Pope— who, with his mission, could steadily guarantee the purity of faith, shielding it from the fashions of times. If then there already were such a diversity of judgments about Jesus Christ, what would happen now, 21 centuries later, if there would not exist the figure of the Pope —Peter’s successor— infallibly assisted by God?

—O Lord, many thanks because You sustain us in the faith through your Vicar, the Pope. Assist him so that he never falters!