Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
The Chair of St Peter in Rome
- February 22, 2011
Matthewâ€™s Gospel describes the most complete account of Simon, son of John, receiving a mandate from Jesus to care for the community he founded. With this command, Simon receives a new name as well - â€˜Peterâ€™ or â€˜Rockâ€™, implying that this office would be as enduring as rock, impervious to the assaults of evil. The New Testament bears continual witness to the primacy accorded to Peter by the other disciples, and the Gospels are careful to note that even though Peter denied his Lord, he was forgiven and fully reinstated as head of the apostles.
One would expect Jerusalem to be Peterâ€™s seat of authority, as it was where the Temple was located. Indeed Lukeâ€™s Gospel begins and ends at the Temple; and Lukeâ€™s second book, The Acts of the Apostles, records the first â€˜council of Jerusalemâ€™ where the apostles and others deliberated on how to present the Gospel to the pagans. Slowly but inevitably, the Gospel breaks frontiers and travels to the heart of the Empire, Rome. It is to Rome that the apostle Paul is sent in chains. It is also to Rome that Peter goes, and witnesses to the Lord by his death. It is also in Rome that successive Popes will nourish the faith, build the Christian community and guide the Church worldwide with their teachings.
The Chair â€“ or â€˜throneâ€™, as a symbol of authority â€“ of St Peter in Rome thus celebrates the historical accident by which the city has come to symbolize the pastoral authority of the First Apostle and his successors.