St. Peter and the Universal Church

Two profound things happened in the Gospel passage for this Sunday: the first is that Peter made a confession of faith in Jesus as Son of the living God. The second is that Our Lord promised to confer upon Peter the primacy of the Universal Church.

As Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he presented them with the question: Who do people say that the Son of Man is? And they responded with the various opinions that people had concerning who the Son of Man is.

And after hearing what the disciples had relayed back to him, Jesus presented them with another question: But who do you say that I am? No mere man could’ve influenced Peter to testify to the truth about the divinity of Jesus Christ; only the heavenly Father could’ve inspired Peter to make this confession of faith in God’s only Son. And in return, Our Lord entrusted the primacy of the Universal Church to Peter. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.

How easy it is for us to overlook that Christ founded the Universal Church, the very Church that we’re a part of. If Peter and the Apostles are the foundation for the Universal Church, then Christ is the cornerstone, and we, who by our initiation into the Church, are the living stones which make up a part of the Church. Our Lord continues to build His Church upon the firm foundation of Peter and the Apostles in such a way that no power could overthrow it- And the gates of nether world shall not prevail against it.

The Church will withstand any attack upon it; no enemy of the Church- whether they’re persecutors, heretics, or public dissenters- will ever prevail against the Church, which Christ himself founded even to the end of time. From its beginning 2000 years ago, the Church has undergone some kind of attack against her members throughout her history. Enemies have come and gone, but the Church still stands and will continue to remain.

And my dear friends in Christ, this gives us much hope because Our Lord established His Church and entrusted it to Peter for our salvation- so that we could get into heaven.
In heaven, the Triumphant Church will be in Christ the King’s eternal presence, and now we must pray and work to get there.
Fr. Perez