Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January 18th, 2014

COLLECT OF THE DAY

Heavenly Father,You revealed to the apostle Peter the blessed truth that Your Son Jesus is the Christ. Strengthen us by the proclamation of this truth that we too may joyfully confess that there is salvation in no one else; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Confession of St. Peter:

The confession of St. Peter did not arise in the imagination of Peter’s heart but was revealed to him by the Father. The reason this confession is important is seen in Jesus’ response: “You are Peter [Greek Petros], and on this rock [Greek petra] I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). As the people of God in the Old Testament began with the person of Abraham, the rock from which God’s people were hewn (Isaiah 51:1-2), so the people of God in the New Testament would begin with the person of Peter, whose confession is the rock on which Christ would build His Church. But Peter was not alone (the “keys” given to him in Matthew 16:19 were given to all the disciples in Matthew 18:18 and John 20:21-23). As St. Paul tells us, Peter and the other apostles take their place with the prophets as the foundation of the Church, with Christ Himself as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). The confession of Peter, therefore, is the witness of the entire apostolic band and is foundational in the building of Christ’s Church. Thus the Church gives thanks to God for St. Peter and the other apostles who have instructed Christ’s Holy Church in His divine and saving truth. (The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Readings:

Acts 4:8-13

Psalm 118:19-29 

2 Peter 1:1-15

Mark 8:27-9:1

Reflection:   The Greek New Testament for the confession of St Peter in St. Matthew has a word play.  The Roman Catholic Church asserts that when Jesus says to Peter, Upon this rock I shall build my Church, the Lord is referring to Peter as the rock, the foundation of the Church and subsequently the popes.  The Lord did not as He was referring to Peter’s confession.  The word play is the “Petros” (-os, masculine ending), i.e. Peter, “Rock “is Peter’s new name, but when Jesus says, “Upon this rock…”, the Greek is “petra”, neuter ending, that is Peter’s Confession.  All of the Church is to confess Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God,the sweet sound of salvation for sinners.  “…it is certain that the Church is not built on the authority of a man but on the ministry of the confession which Peter made, when he declare Jesus to the Christ, the Son of God” (The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of Pope, The Book of Concord, the Lutheran Confessions)

The Lord has called His apostolic Church to be faithful in confessing Jesus is the Christ, that He is the Lord.  Peter eventually led the way of the holy Apostles in preaching and teaching Christ.  Peter who had denied Christ, was faithful to Christ’s command to him, “Feed My Sheep”. Pastors are called  to be faithful in confessing Christ, to feed and lead His people so that others may hear of the Savior.  If pastors, ministers and priests trust their own thinking about Christ, and not the Word,   “…will lose Christ” (Luther). In a school, principles are worthless without the authority and care of a principled principal to educate with students.  Principles are words.  So likewise  a principal without sound principles is anarchy. The Lord’s pastorate is principled in the Word of Law and Promise to teach His people.  If they follow their own lesson plans, then there is anarchy.  What makes Christianity Christian is Christ so we can be Christians, taught and fed by faithful Christian pastors, as we are  built on the Rock of our salvation, Jesus the Christ, even when steeples are falling. As Pr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer preached on St. Matthew 16:  

What is the difference between Peter and the others? Is he of such heroic nature that he towers over the others? He is not. Is he endowed with such unheard-of strength of character?  He is not. Is he gifted with unshakable loyalty? He is not. Peter is nothing, nothing but a person confessing his faith, a person who has been confronted by Christ and who has recognized Christ, and who now confesses his faith in him, and this confessing Peter is called the rock on which Christ will build his church.  Peter’s church–that means the church of rock, the church of the confession of Christ. Peter’s church, that does not mean a church of opinions and views, but the church of the revelation; not a church in which what “people say” is talked about but the church in which Peter’s confession is made anew and passed on; the church which has no other purpose in song, prayer, preaching, and action than to pass on its confession of faith; the church which is always founded on rock as long as it remains within these limits, but which turns into a house built on sand, which is blown away by the wind, as soon as it is foolhardy enough to think that it may depart from or even for a moment neglect this purpose.

St. Augustine was a good catholic as was Luther.  St. Augustine knew from whence comes the Christian. 

“Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

St. Augustine: Upon this rock I shall build my faith; the faith you confess. Upon what you have said: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God: I shall build my Church.

For thou art Peter.

Peter from the rock (petra); not the rock from Peter. So Peter, because of the Rock; as Christian, because of Christ.  Would you know after what rock (petra) Peter is called? Listen to Paul answering: “I would not have you ignorant, brethren, the Apostle of Christ says, “I would not have you ignorant, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud, and in the sea. And all did eat the same spiritual frod. And all drank the same spiritual drink; and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ (I Cor. x. i—k)”. From this rock Peter came.  (emphasis my own)

From a sermon by St. Augustine, delivered on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, from The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers,  (a Roman Catholic publisher)

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: