I mean, what’s so special about some chair anyway?
But I digress.
And of course, in all truth, though sacred objects are indeed held in high esteem by the Church, some random relic isn’t enough to make the priest change his garments from violet to white on this Lenten Friday. For the chair is of course a symbol representing something infinitely more than itself.
The Chair of St. Peter represents the Petrine office itself, the pope, the bishop of Rome, as well as the authority and endurance of the Church itself.
On February 28, the reign of Pope Benedict XVI will end. But his office will not. Soon thereafter, the 266th supreme pontiff will be elected, and will be able now, as always, to trace his succession all the way back to the apostle Peter himself.
Truly a remarkable feat. What other kingdom on earth has endured for such a period? Though the papacy has surely not been without its own speed bumps throughout history, it is still here, 2000 years later. Other kingdoms of men have been proclaimed never-ending throughout history, but you needn’t walk the span of more than 2 miles to see whose claim has measured up and whose hasn’t:
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah…. 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.”(Matt 16: 17-18)
I don’t know about you, but that’s the sort of promise I want to be a part of.
- St. Peter, Apostle, Leader, and Fisher of Men
– Pray for us.