As we celebrate the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Let us hear again the entrance antiphon:
“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.”
Jesus said this after Peter had made his profession of faith at Caesarea Philippi and after Peter had witnessed the Transfiguration.
So Jesus knew that Peter was still weak in his humanity, and it wasn’t until after Pentecost, filled with the Holy Spirit, that Peter became strong for Christ, and even then Peter failed from time to time.
The reason I bring this up is because in our humanity, we fail; especially in our commitment to our Lenten resolutions. But the important thing, just as with Peter, Jesus never gives up on us. So we should not give up on our quest to follow Jesus more closely.
So if you have not done so, recommit yourself to a good and holy Lent. Do some additional penance. By all means go to confession, maybe a weekly confession if possible, because we can all use the graces of reconciliation to keep us strong in our commitment to becoming Christ like.
I would also recommend that you read this Gospel passage carefully and meditate on it. Answer the question in your heart that Jesus asks:” But who do you say that I am?”
If we answer truthfully that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God, then our path to Easter is much easier. Lent can then be a joyful season because we can share Christ’s passion knowing that the joy of Easter is just ahead. We do have an advantage in this though, we can get to see the Risen Christ every day in the Eucharist, whereas Peter had to wait to see how Christ’s mission played out.
The other thing we can learn from the entrance antiphon is that after we turn back, or recommit, we can be an example for others to give them encouragement.
Another consideration as we celebrate this Feast is to be thankful for the Papacy and the guidance it offers. The guidance over the years which has kept the Church united and committed to the Truth. We should pray always for Pope Francis as he has to deal with a secular society which is always waiting to put their spin on what he says, based on their beliefs, not Church teaching.
St. Peter, pray for us.