Homily for Tuesday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II (5)

Homily for Tuesday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II 

Theme: A Chair Full of Memories
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

By: Deacon Bill Frere

Homily for Tuesday February 22 2022


Chair of St. Peter
Gospel – Matthew 16:13-19
My grandfather (Pop Pop) was a master carpenter. Even though he passed away over 30 years ago, many of his family still have hand-crafted examples of his remarkable workmanship – china cabinets, book cases, hutches and dressers. One of the very last projects he completed before he died was to create 3 small simple chairs – one for each of his 3 great-grandchildren. Even today, that chair sits in our dining room. Looking at it, you would probably see just a simple basic child’s chair, a little worn but still sturdy and strong. As for me, I still feel his presence and that simple chair remains a constant reminder of his love and affection for his family and his amazing skill at carpentry.

Whether it’s Pop Pop’s chair or the chair that my dad sat at for family dinners, the same one that I now occupy in his place, chairs have a way of doing that – bringing back memories and emotions!

We celebrate today the Chair of St. Peter, quite unusual really, a feast day for an object and not a person. But this chair means so much more! Literally the Latin word for chair is “cathedra”, where we get the word for cathedral, the church of a bishop. So what we are celebrating today is not so much a physical chair as the symbol of the Pope’s authority – the Chair of St. Peter in the Vatican. It stands as a symbol not of power but of the ministry and care of the Shepherd of Rome! And it is a reminder of the unity of the entire Church under our pastor Pope Francis!

Deacon Bill Frere


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