Intention: For all persons who struggle with unemployment and economic hardship, that they receive the help and support that they need for themselves and their families.
Today’s Gospel | Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
From the Meditation on the Chair of Saint Peter | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
The Pope, being the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the visible head of the Church, and the successor of Saint Peter, has wide authority over the entire Church. All the faithful who are members ought to regard him as their father and as the voice God uses to give his orders to them. He possesses the universal power of binding and loosing that Jesus Christ gave to Saint Peter; to him Jesus Christ has committed the responsibility first given to this holy Apostle of feeding his flock.
Your role, then, is to work to increase and to take care of this sheepfold; therefore, you must honor our Holy Father, the Pope, as the holy shepherd of this flock and the High Priest of the Church. You must respect his every word. It ought to be enough that something comes from him for you to be infinitely attentive. Is this how you have acted up to the present? Adore God’s authority in this sovereign Shepherd of souls, and in the future, look upon him as the great teacher of the Church.
Eternal Father, your Son called us to follow him so that we might learn to share the good news of your saving love for us. Strengthen our faith in the wonder of your presence and your grace, and help us to proclaim your truth through our compassion and care for one another. May we always seek ways to build your Kingdom and be signs of your peace and justice, especially to those whose lives are burdened with misfortune and suffering. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.