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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter.

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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 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 and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus replied, 'Simon son of Jonah, you are a blessed man! Because it was no human agency 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 community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.'


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Today’s feast of the Chair of Peter remembers an ancient tradition, according to which Peter became bishop of Rome precisely on February 22. The liturgy invites us to commemorate and celebrate the "ministry of Peter." On one hand it underlines the apostolic foundation of the Church of Rome and on the other, the service of presiding in charity, a unique charism that remains in the successors of Peter. Through the three symbols that it names - the rock, the keys, and the power to bind and loose, the Gospel we just heard demonstrates that Peter’s charism is a ministry aimed at building up the chosen ones of God. We know how beneficial this ministry of unity is for the Church, a ministry that the bishop of Rome is called to exercise. It is even more beneficial today. In a globalized world, with strong pressures towards self-reference and fragmentation, the Pope is a unique treasure to be guarded, protected, and revealed, not according to the power of this world, but as a service of love for all, especially the weak. Indeed, primacy does not spring from "flesh and blood"; it is not a question of personal, human qualities, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, as can clearly be seen in this Gospel passage. The testimony of Pope Francis is particularly eloquent in this time of disorientation and uncertainty. Jesus himself pointed to the rock when he gathered the disciples away from the crowds. He asked them what the people thought of him, not out of curiosity, as legitimate as that might be. Jesus was very aware that the people were eagerly awaiting the Messiah, even if they understood him to be a powerful man both politically and militarily. He was supposed to free the people of Israel from the slavery of the Romans. But this expectation was foreign to his mission, which was aimed to free people radically from the slavery of sin and evil. After the first answers, Jesus goes directly to the disciples’ heart: "But who do you say that I am?" He needs the disciples to be in harmony with him, for them to have the same "feelings" as him. Peter spoke, answering on behalf of all and confessed his faith. And he immediately received a blessing. Peter, along with that small group of disciples, is among the "little" ones to whom the Father reveals the things hidden from the foundation of the world. In his encounter with Jesus, Peter, a man like every other man, made of "flesh and blood, receives a new vocation, a new task, and a new commitment: to be a support for many others, with the power to bind new ties of friendship and loose the many bonds of slavery.

Memory of the Poor

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday