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.” (Mt. 16:13-19)
You are the Christ
After having first interrogated his disciples regarding who “the people” think He is, Jesus narrows the playing field and asks them: “Who do you say that I am?” It is a question that has echoed down the ages and underscores that faith in Jesus is faith in God, in the Lord Jesus Christ, which is bound to the role of Peter and his successors. Jesus, the Son of God, has been at the Church’s helm throughout its history. Thus, there is no storm that can ever cause it to be shipwrecked.
Sign of unity
Peter and his successors were chosen as the “visible and principal signs of unity”, a point of reference so as to embark on the journey of faith confidently and securely. The Feast of the “Chair” of Peter, therefore, is a recognition of the spiritual significance of Saint Peter and his successors, as well as a privileged manifestation of God’s love who is our good and eternal Shepherd who wants to gather His entire Church and guide it on the path of salvation.