THE RISEN SAVIOR had sent word to the Apostles that He was going ahead of them into Galilee and that He would meet them there. While the Apostles were awaiting Jesus in Galilee, some of them went back to their business of fishing in order to support the group. It was after a night of luckless fishing that they were given a miraculous catch and recognized Jesus on the shore.
After their early morning meal on the shore, which our Lord had prepared for them, Jesus spoke to Peter, for His purpose in being there was to keep His promise of some months before: “Thou are Peter and upon this Rock I will build my church, and [will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-20) Before actually fulfilling the promise by raising Peter to the dignity of Primate among the twelve, He allowed him to erase his triple denial by a triple avowal of love. Then, He conferred upon him the promised Primacy.
Each pope, in that unbroken chain of succession from Peter to the reigning Pontiff, has had the office, prerogatives and authority of Saint Peter. We listen to the pope as we would have to Saint Peter, who was Christ’s Vicar on earth. We honor the present pope as we would have honored the first pope, Peter. And we thank Christ for giving us a rock of strength and assurance, one to whom we can look for guidance and on whose judgment we can rely.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print.