“You are the Messiah,” Simon Peter answered, “the Son of the Living God.” — Matthew 16:16.
We are 10 days into Lent and today was a feast day; a “white” day in the midst of the purple. Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Chair of St. Peter; the fact that Jesus founded a visible Church under the leadership of St. Peter. Let’s pray today for all of our shepherds especially Pope Benedict XVI.
Today is the perfect day to talk about the “Kingdom of Heaven” being ecclesial. I really love it when the Holy Spirit guides my writing.
The Kingdom of Heaven III
- the Kingdom’s saving power is made present in the world through the visible Church.
- The Gospel of Matthew stresses the importance of the Kingdom of Heaven
- The Gospel of Matthew is the only Gospel to make explicit reference to the Church (16:18; 18:17)
- Authority to bind and loose in the Kingdom is given to Peter.
- Peter is made the Kingdom’s chief steward and guardian of its keys. (16:19)
- Similar royal authority is conferred upon the other apostles as a group. (18: 18-19)
- Sent forth by Jesus, the apostles extend the Kingdom through their preaching (10:7) and sacramental actions. (28:18-20)
(5:9) the peacemakers: those who sow peace in the world. (Jas 3:18) Yes, we are to live at peace with one another; however, ultimately we must share the Gospel so others can be reconciled with God and live in the peace of Christ. (Rom 5:1; Phil 4:7)
(5:45) Children of God: the gift of divine sonship is both present to believers (Rom 8: 14-16; 1 Jn 3:1) and a future hope linked with the resurrection of the body (Rom 8:23) and the glory of eternal life to come. (Rev 21:7) (CCC 2305)
(CCC 2305) Christ is the Prince of Peace. By the Blood of His Cross, “in His own person He killed the hostility,” of men. He reconciled men with God and made His Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of its union with God. “He is our peace.” (Eph 2:14) He has declared, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
(5:10) those who are persecuted: these are the ones who are slandered, abused, or oppressed for their public witness to Christianity. They are targets of the world’s hatred. (Jn 15: 18-19) because of their commitment to righteousness. (1 Pet 3:14)
(5-12) the Kingdom of Heaven: persecuted disciples can expect a great reward!
The reading for Monday is Chapter 5: 13-16. (Salt and Light)
Study Question: In honor of the day, read chapter 16: 13-20.
Meditation: If someone looked at what you did today, would they know that you were a Christian?