Day 6: Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter – Matthew 16

“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.”
Matthew 16:18


Day 6: Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter – Matthew 16:18


“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.”


Today’s Lenten Reflection

If you have ever been to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, you could not have missed the magnificent bronze statue of St. Peter holding the keys to the kingdom and giving a blessing. The toes on the right foot of the statue have famously been worn smooth from the hands of pilgrims throughout the centuries. People walk by, reaching out instinctively to touch the “rock”, hoping for inspiration on their own spiritual journey

There is something about St. Peter that calls to us, offering no small measure of comfort and inspiration. Perhaps it is because Peter, like us, walked this walk on earth and successfully finished the race. Today’s Gospel reading is one of Peter’s shining moments, but it doesn’t take much to find the myriad scenes in which he did not fare so well: “Get behind me, Satan” comes to mind as a moment that had to have been a reckoning for Peter — although nothing tops his triple denial of Jesus and subsequent despair.

Peter reminds us today that perfection is not our calling. To successfully finish our race, faithfulness is. Yes, we will make mistakes, many of them, but mercy is ours for the taking. As Peter exemplifies, while we strive to learn from our mistakes, turning away from ensnaring habits, God’s mercy is always there to guide us forward. We reach out to Peter today in solidarity and hope, knowing that the role of a disciple was never meant to be easy. If we remain faithful, persevering in hardship and through times of confusion, the moment will always give way to clarity. We will profess, as Peter did, that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.

Day 6 Lenten Meditation

Reflect on your life and think about your own “Peter moments”, those times when you doubted the Lord or denied what you knew in your heart to be true. What about those other moments when you believed so strongly, so completely that nothing could shake you? Amid the challenges in your life, our world, and our Church are you standing firm, wavering uncertainly, or hiding in your version of the upper room? Wherever you are, calm your mind today and talk to Peter — a companion and model on the journey of faith if there ever was one. Like us, Peter knew what it felt like to make mistakes. But we learn from him (and so many others who traveled before us) that all is well and ends well when surrounded in the love and mercy of our Lord.

Lenten Prayer

Heavenly Father, Your Spirit shines through both our inspiration and inconstancy. Throughout this Lent, may we be ever more deeply grounded in the same faith that Peter himself received. Help us to walk this narrow path, navigating all the peaks and valleys of our spiritual journey. As we move forward through Lent, we thank You for surrounding us with unwavering love, mercy and grace. Amen.

Today’s suggested Penance

*Pray and offer some sort of sacrifice for the Church and her leaders

“He who seeks forgiveness of his sins loves humility, but if he condemns another he seals his won wickedness” Saint Mark the Ascetic.

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