(I had hoped all week to get the time to get my notes-text expanded to full-text, but I never got to it. Here is the audio and what notes I had. You can follow along better than most weeks, at least. Also, yeah, there is a lot of baby noise in the background, but hey, "If your church ain't crying, it's dying.")
21st A: Peter, Shebna, and Eliakim
2 weeks ago: Broke, Woke, Bespoke
Not the only way to look at things
Good, better, best
"Go a little further"
Jesus is really happy that Peter figured out who he is.
You are Peter, either giving him a new name or reinforcing what he named him earlier in John
•Further: fired up homily
This is the beginning of the church
First use of it
And Peter is named the bedrock of the church...
...at that Church's bedrock, foundational moment
Matthew goes whole hog
Mark, important thing was what Peter said: you are the Messiah
1 from God; "flesh & blood"
2 confirms name, = rock
3 upon rock
4 gates of hell >> infallibility
5 keys >> ability to govern
6 bind >> make decisions
Jesus will tell all apostles the can forgive sins Easter Sunday night
Only Peter has keys and can bind
Proof that J founded church on Peter.
He's promised that the church will never fail.
Always teach the truth
Right to govern: set rules and make hard choices
And it follows that from there, if the gates will never prevail, the next generation must have same guarantees
So these promises follow Peter and successors
Very common, Catholic exposition on Matthew 16:18
"Great to have a Pope; great to be Catholic!"
Really on-it preacher looks at 1st reading too.
Master of the palace, lord of the house, major domo,
Signs of office, title
(Like a father)
Key = authority
Then actually describes the authority
Opens shut, shuts open
Keys and double binding
Jesus clearly copying image
Makes Peter the master of his palace
Watcher while he is away
Fr. Rowan isn't really the assistant pastor;
Properly speaking: parochial vicar
"Over the house of Judah"
"Like a father"
Parallel: Peter not just given verbal authority.
if a reflection of Isaiah and Master of palace, he's saying you are king when the king isn't around
Jesus is head of the church
Pope is "visible head of the church on earth"
Peg ~ rock
"Hoo Ahh! Now it's really great to be a Catholic.
Not just proof, but wisdom and assuring!"
•Further (I won't say furthest, b/c there's always more to find, but is the deepest I will go today
"Man, I like these OT parallels!
Is the more?"
Yeah, but you might not like all of it.
"I will fix him as a peg in a firm place,a seat of honor for his ancestral house;
On him shall hang all the glory of his ancestral house: its offspring and offshoots—all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.
On that day, says the LORD of hosts, the peg fixed in a firm place shall give way, break off and fall, and the weight that hung on it shall be no more. The LORD has spoken.
End of chapter.
I told you might not want to hear it.
Just heard the most triumphal line of God bestowing his favor and trust on his right hand man in the Old Testament.
And seem that Jesus was clearly making parallel with that for his right hand man in New.
"the peg fixed in a firm place shall give way, break off and fall, and the weight that hung on it shall be no more."
So much for Peter the rock!
But is it?
Did J pick Peter because courageous?
Because prudent and wise?
He picked him, because he picked him.
There is always a mystery in what we call "divine election"
When God chooses someone for a task
And that's often not whom we would think to choose.
But the final verses are even deeper
No man can bear that weight
No person can be the peg with absolutely everything hanging on him.
All humans will fail, especially under that load
Peter will fail him
Heck, Peter will fail him next week,
Before Matthew Ch 16 is finished.
You could've had a smarter, tougher Jewish man like Paul and he couldn't have held that weight.
So the final lines of Isaiah 22 tell us lots
God knows no man is fit to be the vicar of Christ
No human can be the rock on their own merits
This position, this charism of being the visible head of the church on earth only works because of God
The rock is no rock without the one who gave the name and said, "I will build my church"
It's Jesus' church
Only a fool would think it's Peter's church.
God chooses weak men and puts them over an institution that is in the realist sense "too big to fail"
Because millions of souls depend on her always teaching the truth
So God gives graces to the whole...
And special grace to the unfit, flawed man who has to bear that title Vicar of Christ and Successor of St. Peter
Not for his sake but for ours
So we can be safe
Last lines of Isaiah 22 are perfect.
We'll never then be confused
Never think that the pope is the savior
We know he alone can't hold the weight
But God can
God can give those graces to always protect the church
God does give those graces
And he actually does it through a fragile, flawed, imperfect human being:
The vicar of Christ on earth