June 29 Gospel Reading

Matthew 16:13-19


 [13] When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he
asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?[14]
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias;
and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.[15] He saith
unto them, But whom say ye that I am?[16] And Simon Peter
answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.[17]
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona:
for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which
is in heaven.[18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art
Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.[19] And I will give unto thee
the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on
earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth
shall be loosed in heaven.

St.John Chrysostom in Homily 54 said regarding Peter's response…

What then says the mouth of the apostles, Peter,
the ever fervent, the leader of the apostolic choir?
When all are asked, he answers. And whereas when He asked the opinion
of the people, all replied to the question; when He asked their own,
Peter springs forward, and anticipates them, and
You are the Chris, the Son of
the living God.

What then says Christ? Blessed are you, Simon
Barjona, for flesh and blood has not revealed
it unto you
(Matt. 16:17)

Yet surely unless he had rightly confessed Him,
as begotten of the very Father Himself, this were no work of revelation;
had he accounted our Lord to be one of the many,
his saying was not worthy of a blessing. Since
before this also they said, Truly He is Son of God, (Matt.14:33) those, I mean, who were in the vessel after the tempest, which they
saw, and were not blessed, although of course they
spoke truly.
For they confessed not such a Sonship
as Peter, but accounted Him to be truly Son as one
of the many, and though peculiarly so beyond the many, yet not of the
same substance.

Do you see how He, His own self, leads Peter on
to high thoughts of Him, and reveals Himself, and
implies that He is Son of God by these two promises? For those things which are peculiar
to God alone, (both to absolve sins, and to make
the church in capable of overthrow
in such assailing waves, and to exhibit a man that is a fisher more
solid than any rock, while all the world is at war with him),
these He promises Himself to give; as the Father, speaking
to Jeremiah, said, He would make him as a brazen
pillar, and as a wall.
(Jer. 1:18) but him to one nation only, this man in every part of the world.

I would fain inquire then of those who desire to lessen the dignity
of the Son,
which manner of gifts were greater, those which the
Father gave to Peter, or those which the Son gave
him? For the Father gave to Peter the revelation
of the Son; but the Son gave him to sow that of the Father and that of
Himself in every part of the world; and to a mortal man He entrusted the
authority over all things in Heaven, giving him
the keys; who extended the church
to every part of the world, and declared it to be stronger than heaven.
For heaven and earth shall pass away, but my
word shall not pass away.
(Matt. 24:35) How then is He less, who has given such gifts, has
effected such things?

(There is more I want to add to this but am in the airport and have to catch my connection so will finish later…more to come on "the keys of the kingdom"…)


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