Today is the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. Normally in these not normal times, we would speak of Peter as the Rock, and the critical importance of the Petrine Promises. “Thou art Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church,” Matthew 16:18; we hear this three times today, at the Gospel, Offertory, and Communion.
But today let’s focus on the Epistle from 1 Peter 1, which draws back exactly to yesterday’s lesson, on the necessity and the benefits of temptation.
Epistle I Peter 1:1-7 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers dispersed through Pontus, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Grace unto you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy hath regenerated us unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead: Unto an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled and that cannot fade, reserved in heaven for you, Who, by the power of God, are kept by faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein you shalt greatly rejoice, if now you must be for a little time made sorrowful in divers temptations: That the trial of your faith (much more precious than gold which is tried by the fire) may be found unto praise and glory and honour at the appearing of Jesus Christ.“
Your faith is precious, and must be tried more so than gold. Spend your time free of temptation in preparation for temptation. Fight the battle that was meant for you. Apply your suffering to the Cross, and unite yourself with the grace being poured forth to you.
You were born for this!
“Blessed art thou, Simon BarJona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Matt 16:17-19