REFLECTION FOR 7TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C), Week beginning 20 February 2022
On this Tuesday, we have the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, 22nd February; also known as the See of St. Peter. It is the only feast of St. Peter on his own. His other feast is the Solemnity, or solemn feast, he shares with St. Paul on June 29th. On February 22nd 2006, Pope Benedict said the following in his General Audience for the feast of the Chair of St. Peter:
“This is a very ancient tradition, proven to have existed in Rome since the 4th century. On it we give thanks to God for the mission He entrusted to the apostle Peter and his successors. ‘Cathedra’ literally means the established seat of the Bishop, placed in the mother church of a diocese which for this reason is known as a ‘cathedral’; it is the symbol of the Bishop’s authority and in particular of his ‘magisterium’, that is, the
evangelical teaching which, as a successor of the Apostles, he is called to safeguard and transmit to the Christian community.
The See of Rome, after St. Peter’s travels, then came to be recognised as the See of the Successor of Peter, and its Bishop’s ‘cathedra’ then represented the mission entrusted to him by Christ to tend His entire flock.
Celebrating the ‘Chair’ of Peter, therefore, as we are doing today, means attributing a strong spiritual significance to it, and recognising it as a privileged sign of the love of God, the eternal Good Shepherd Who wanted to gather His whole Church and lead her on the path of salvation”.
Today, some 16 years later, Pope Benedict is Emeritus (retired). We thank God for his short pontificate. We pray for Francis, his successor to the Chair of Peter.
May the presence of the Holy Spirit be ever evident within the Church of Jesus Christ before, during and long after next year’s Synod on Synodality.