Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fasting to Feasting

Tonight I am preaching at the S. Petrus in Valle, no not one of the Roman Stational Basillicas but Shoreham, the home of the blogger Valle Adurni, Fr Sean Finnegan. It is there patronal feast, The Chair of Peter, in theory they could have started feasting yesterday, with the First Vespers of the Solemnity.
Until the 70s there were two feasts of the Chair of Peter, one at Antioch, where Peter was first bishop and the other at Rome, they were almagamated in the 1970s. The illustration is the actual chair, which is in that extra-ordinary construction in St Peter's Rome by Bernini. The Chair from gospel times represents teaching authority, Jesus himself speaks of the Pharisees occupying the "Chair of Moses".
I am not sure what I am actually going to say yet, I love the passage at the end of the Sermon on the Mount about the wise man who builds his house on rock. Scott Hahn suggests that the "wise man" was Solomon who built the first Temple, the House of the Lord on Mount Zion, who was supplanted by the even wiser man, the Lord, who built his house, the Church, on the Rock, that is Peter, to stand firm forever. I think them I might go on to speak about God trusting frail human flesh and frail human relationships, frail popes and frail priests and bishops, and frail people too to be the Rock to stand firm forever.

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