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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 22.02.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 22.02.24

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1ST PETER 5: 1 – 4

Beloved: I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 23: 1 – 3a, 3b – 4, 5, 6 (R.) 1

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me;
he revives my soul. R/.

He guides me along the right path,
for the sake of his name.
Though I should walk in the
valley of the shadow of death,
no evil would I fear, for you are with me.
Your crook and your staff will give me comfort. R/.

You have prepared a table before me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing. R/.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for length of days unending. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Matthew 16: 18

Glory and praise, O Christ
You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Glory and praise, O Christ

GOSPEL
“You are Peter, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
MATTHEW 16: 13 – 19

At that time: When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord

GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Church Shall Always Prevail
Thursday, February 22, 2024

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18–19)

There are several foundational truths taught to us by this passage above. One of those truths is that “the gates of the netherworld” shall never prevail against the Church. That truth gives us much reason to rejoice.

Think of the many human institutions that have existed throughout the centuries. The most powerful governments have come and gone. Various movements have come and gone. Countless organizations have come and gone. But the Catholic Church still remains and will remain until the end of time. That is one of the promises of our Lord that we celebrate today.

The Church has not remained simply because of good leadership all of these years. In fact, corruption and serious internal conflict have been evident within the Church from the beginning. Popes have lived immoral lives. Cardinals and bishops have lived as princes. Some priests have gravely sinned. And many religious orders have struggled with serious internal divisions. But the Church itself, this shining Bride of Christ, this infallible institution still remains and will continue to remain because Jesus guaranteed it.

With today’s modern media by which every sin of every member of the Church is able to be instantly and universally broadcast to the world, there can be a temptation to look down on the Church. Scandal, division, controversy and the like can shake us to the core, at times, and cause some to question their ongoing participation in the Roman Catholic Church. But the truth is that every weakness within Her members should actually be cause for us to renew and deepen our faith in the Church itself. Jesus did not promise that every Church leader would be a saint, but He did promise that “the gates of the netherworld” would not prevail against Her.

Reflect, today, upon your own view of the Church today. If scandals and divisions have weakened your faith, then turn your eyes to our Lord and to His holy and divine promise. The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against the Church. That is a fact promised by our Lord Himself. Believe it and rejoice in that glorious truth.

PRAYER:
My glorious Bridegroom, You have instituted the Church upon the rock foundation of Peter’s faith. Peter and all of his successors are Your precious gift to us all. Help me to see beyond the sins of others, the scandals and divisions, and to see You, my Lord, leading all people to salvation through Your bride, the Church. I renew my faith, this day, in the gift of this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Jesus, I trust in You.

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