16.2. THE PAPACY & THE CHURCH
(St. Peter and his successors)
"The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord, and Thy truth in the Church of the Saints." (Psalm 88:6 in Douay Bible)
"The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, in Whom all the building, being framed together, grows up into a holy temple in the Lord. In Whom you also are built together into an habitation of God in the (Holy) Spirit." (Ephesians 2:20-22)
".....the temple of the Lord is holy; and you are that temple." (1 Corinthians 3:17)
PETER (The 1st Pope) MEETS JESUS
Andrew, the brother of Simon,...brought him to Jesus. And Jesus looking upon him said: "Simon, son of Jonah: you shall be called Cephas, which is interpreted, 'Peter'." Note: 'Cephas' means 'Peter', 'rock', 'stone'. (John 1:40-42)
WISDOM – 'ONLY ONE IS WISE'
"All wisdom is from the Lord, and it is His own for ever,... One only is wise, terrible indeed, seated on His throne, the Lord." (Ecclesiasticus 1:1,8-10)
THE WISE BUILDER
Jesus said, "Everyone who listens to My words and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house upon rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But, everyone who listens to My words and does not act on them will be like a man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!" (Matthew 7:24-27)
JESUS THE WISE BUILDER
Jesus put this question to His disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say He is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But you," He said, "Who do you say I am?" Then Peter spoke up, "You are the Christ," he said, "the Son of the Living God." Jesus replied, "Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood (a man) that revealed this to you but My Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter ('Rock') and on this rock I will build My Church. And the gates of hell shall never prevail against it. I will give to you (Peter) the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven." (Matthew 16:13-19). In this manner, did Christ establish Peter's Papal authority.
JESUS TO PETER: "FEED (SHEPHERD) MY SHEEP"
It was after the meal Jesus had with His disciples on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, at His third meeting with them after rising from the dead that He said to Peter: "Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these others do?" He answered, "Yes Lord, you know I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time He said to him, "Simon son of John, Do you love Me?" He replied, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you." Then he said to him a third time, "Simon son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, "Do you love Me?", and said, "Lord, you know everything: you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed (Shepherd) my sheep." (John 21:15-17) (Remember, Peter had three times denied knowing Jesus. Luke 22:34)
PETER THE FIRM ROCK
The Lord said to Simon Peter: (at The Last Supper) "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you all, that he might sift you like wheat: But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith shall not fail: and you, when you have been converted, (At Pentecost, see Acts 2:1-36) confirm your brethren." (Strengthen, support and keep them together.) (Luke 22:31,32)
JESUS THE TEACHER, AUTHORISES THE CHURCH TO TEACH
To His disciples He said, "Who hears you, hears Me." (Luke 10:16) Later, on the mountain in Galilee Jesus met again with his disciples and He said to them: "All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore, teach all nations; baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe all things I have commanded you: and behold, I am with you all days to the end of the world." (Matthew 28:16-20; Daniel 2:44; 7:13,14 – See Article 11)
THE CHURCH...some relevant texts...
Jesus said to His Apostles in the upper room at the 'Last Supper', "Just as my Father has appointed to Me, now I appoint to you, a kingdom." (Luke 22:29) [Just as the prophet said, "...and the kingdom...will be given to the saints." (Daniel 7:27)]
In the evening of the day of his Resurrection, Jesus again came and stood among His disciples in the upper room, and He gave them the authority to forgive sins, in His Name. He said to them: "Peace be with you. As the Father sent Me, so I am now sending you." After saying this He breathed on them and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; Whose sins you retain, they are retained." (John 20:19-23)
"Up to the time of John (the Baptist) it was the Law and the Prophets;
since that time, the kingdom of God is preached." (Luke 16;16, Matthew 11:12)
"The Church is His Body." (Ephesians 1:22,23: Colossians 1:18)
"The heavens shall confess thy wonders, O Lord: and thy truth in the Church of the saints." (Psalm 88:6 in Douay Bible)
"It is the pillar and ground of the Truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)
"Who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16)
"Who will not hear the Church, let him be as the heathen." (Matthew 18:15-18)
"Other sheep I have, who are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)
"...God knows our hearts..." (Luke 16:15) We are, at every moment, transparent before Him, because "It is in Him that we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28) This is how we know, that in the great mystery of Who He Is, He knows our every thought, word and deed, and hears our every prayer.
NOTE: Pope Benedict XVI, as the 264th successor of St Peter was the 265th Pope. He is now followed by Francis the 266th Pope.