Tag Archives: Peter

Confession of Peter

We arrived at the ruins of Caesarea Philippi where Jesus declared “the rock.”

Where there is the cave there was a temple in the time of Jesus. It was associated in earlier times with child sacrifice.

One can imagine Jesus said Peter “you are the rock” and pointing to the temple saying “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church.”

Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: 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. ~ Matthew 16:15-18

This is a source of the Jordan that flows down from the mountains of Lebanon.

The cave is the temple of Pan.

An artist’s rendition of what it might have looked like.

Temple of the sacred goat.

The Primacy of Peter

The Primacy of Peter.

The Mensa Christi or altar of Christ is perched on the lake’s edge.

Here Peter thrice professes his love for the Lord.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep…” ~John 21:15-17

Here we remember John 21 when Jesus directs the apostles to cast out their nets.

Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. ~John 21:5-6

He fed them with grilled fish and bread.

Sunday Afterwords: Peter’s Denial

This reflection from Prof René Girard offers acute observations on Peter’s denial and the mob.

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a maid came up to him, and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the cock crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Matthew 26:69-75

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

This ancient Solemnity of the second century commemorates the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul, the founders of the diocese of Rome. This is a day of grand celebration in Rome complete with fireworks. http://www.nola.com/travel/index.ssf/2013/06/romans_celebrate_the_feast_of.html

May we ponder the words of Saint Augustine whose homily for this Solemnity unfolds for us why thus should be a day of grand celebration.

“Both apostles share the same feast day – for these two were one and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostle’s blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their suffering, their preaching and their confession of faith.”

On this day when we confess the apostolicity of the faith, we also join our prayers to those Christians who today confess their faith in the face of the threat of death. Our thought turn to Meriam Ibrahim. In an insightful article by Professor Gabriel Said Reynolds , a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame, he states:

‘We all can learn from the example of Meriam Ibrahim. After her conviction in May, Meriam was given three days to embrace Islam and save her life. This would have been an easy choice to make, but Meriam refused, declaring: “I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian.” Those who wonder whether heroic—and saintly—courage still exists can look to her.’

On this Sunday we confess our faith in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church and pledge our prayer and support for those whose lives are threatened and those who are tortured and martyred for that confession.






O God, who on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul
give us the noble and holy joy of this day,
grant, we pray, that your Church
may in all things follow the teaching
of those through whom she received
the beginnings of right religion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.