Pictorial Thought for Today

Pictorial Thought for Today

Feb 22 - The Chair of Peter

Summary of the feast of the Chair of Peter. The chair (cathedra) of a bishop is a pre-eminent sign of his teaching authority and pastoral oversight of a local Church. This feast, observed in Rome since the fourth century, celebrates Peter, first among the apostles, as founder of the See of Rome and the focus of unity in the communion of one faith.

The Chair of St Peter.
This is a metaphor for the Petrine ministry or the service the Pope offers as an authoritative leader of the Church. There have been, in fact, two feasts of the Chair of St Peter - one associated with Rome, but another associated with Antioch, where the Church of the Acts (11:26) had an important centre.

Patrick Duffy writes about the feast.

chair of peter

Altar of the Chair of St Peter
In the apse of the Basilica of St Peter's in Rome, underneath the beautiful alabaster window with the dove as symbol of the Holy Spirit (see image>), is an altar carved in 1666 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini called the Altar of the Chair of St Peter. The altar is in the form of a throne supported by figures of the four Fathers of the Church. It contains pieces of acacia wood, said to have been the chair from which St Peter taught, but in fact was a gift from Charles the Bald to the Pope in 873.

The Feast
chair ofPeter 2There have been two feasts of the Chair of Peter, one associated with Antioch and the other with Rome and these two feasts remain in the 1962 Roman Missal of Pope John XXIII, recently allowed by Pope Benedict XVI in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007) as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. The ordinary form of the revised Roman Calendar (1969) has just one for 22nd February entitled "The Chair of St Peter".

A catechesis of the Petrine ministry
The texts for the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours of the feast serve, if a trifle ideologically, as a catechesis on the role of the apostle Peter, stressing the place of a Petrine ministry of authority. This finds its best expression in the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer:
'With remarkable wisdom the Church was prefigured in the Old Testament and when the time was fulfilled, you established it on the foundation of the apostles.
From among them you chose Peter, who was the first to recognise the divinity of Christ, and you made him the solid rock on which your Church would be built. You have constituted him as guide and custodian of your entire flock so that throughout the centuries he could strengthen his brethren.
Your Son gave him the keys of the kingdom of heaven so that whatever he decided on earth, you, O Father, would ratify in heaven.'

Ubi episcopus, ibi ecclesia
One of the characteristics of the Catholic Church is its unity, that it is one, and the guarantee of that unity is the fact that the Church is hierarchical. The phrase ubi episcopus, ibi ecclesia ("where the bishop is, there is the Church"), traditionally ascribed to St Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107), sums up Catholic teaching on this point. It is the principle which guarantees the validity of the sacraments and other liturgical actions.

See An Address of Pope Benedict on the Feast of the Chair of Peter in 2006

Peter's chair
Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 22nd February, 2024

02-22-The Chair of St Peter, Apostle


A reading from the first letter of St Peter        5:1-4
I am an elder myself, and a witness to the sufferings of Christ.

I have something to tell your elders: I am an elder myself, and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and with you I have a share in the glory that is be revealed. Be the shepherds of the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, because God wants it; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it. Never be a dictator over any group that is put in your charge, but be an example that the whole flock can follow. When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the crown of unfading glory.

The Word of the Lord             Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm
          Ps 22
Response                              The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

1. 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, to revive my drooping spirit.                                Response

2. He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.  Response

3. You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed  oil; my cup is overflowing.                                          Response

4 Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life .
In the Lord's own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.                                         Response

Gospel  Acclamation          Jn 15: 16
Alleluia, Alleluia!
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.
And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.

Or (in Lent)

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. King of Eternal Glory.
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.
And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. King of Eternal Glory.


The Lord be with you.                         And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew   16:13-19          Glory to you, O Lord
You are Peter and  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples,
'Who do people say the Son of Man is?'
And they said,
'Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'
 'But you,' he said 'who do you say I am?'

Then Simon Peter spoke up,
'You are the Christ,' he said 'the Son of the living God.'
Jesus replied,
'Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.'

The Gospel of the Lord.             Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


Gospel Reflection           Feb. 22         Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter     Matthew 16:13-19

In the world of Jesus and the early church, teachers used to sit to teach and pupils gathered around them. The chair of Peter is a symbol of the teaching role of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope of the Universal church. It is this teaching role that Jesus gives to Peter in today’s gospel reading when he says to you, ‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven’. Keys are a symbol of authority and the language of loosening and binding suggests that teaching authority is intended. Peter is being given the authority to declare which elements of the teaching of Jesus are binding and which elements can be interpreted more loosely.

The early church understood that Peter had a special role in interpreting the teaching of Jesus for the emerging church. Within our own Roman Catholic tradition, we understand that this teaching authority given by Jesus to Peter has always resided with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope of the Universal Church. It is a claim that is disputed by other traditions within the Christian family. The Lord speaks to the church in a whole variety of ways, but as Catholics we believe that the Lord speaks in a unique way through the one we call, ‘Our Holy Father’, which is currently Pope Francis. Yet, he is very aware that the Lord speaks to him through the whole church, every member in every part of the world. That is why he has called on the church throughout the world to come together in a synodal way, to gather to listen to each other and in doing so to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church today. All good teachers are also good pupils and that is especially true of teachers of the faith. Pope Francis, without compromising his teaching authority, is showing us that he has much to learn from all the faithful. Hopefully, this synodal pathway will help us all to appreciate the ways that the Holy Spirit can speak to us through all the members of the church.


The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd. and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made available with our thanks from his book Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2021/2024: The Word is near to you, on your lips and in your heart by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications 2022/23, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/



Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 22nd February, 2024

Sliocht as an céad leabhar Peadar               1:1-8
Is comhsheanóir libh mise agus finné ar pháis Chríost.

Impím ar na seanóirí in bhur measc; agus is comhsheanóir libh mise agus finné ar pháis Chríost, agus táim páirteach libh sa ghlóir atá le foilsiú. Déanaigí tréad Dé atá faoi bhur gcúram a aoireacht; ná tugaigí aire dó le foréigean ach le fonn, mar is toil le Dia, ná le dúil tháir san airgead ach le dúthracht, ná ag tiarnú orthu siúd atá faoi bhur gcúram ach in bhur samplaí don tréad. Ansin nuair a fhoilseofar an tArdaoire tabharfar daoibh coróin mharthanach na glóire.

Briathar an Tiarna             Buíochas le Dia

Psalm le Freagra            Sm  22 
Freagra                               Is é an Tiarna m’aoire: ní bheidh aon ní de dhíth orm.

1. Is é an Tiarna m’aoire: ní bheidh aon ní de dhíth orm.
Cuireann sé féin i mo luí mé i móinéar féir ghlais.
Seolann sé ar imeall an uisce mé mar a bhfaighim suaimhneas.               

2. Seolann sé ar shlí na fíréantachta mé mar gheall ar a ainm.
Fiú dá siúlfainn i ngleann an dorchadais, níor bhaol liom an t-olc
agus tú faram le do shlat is do bhachall chun sólás a thabhairt dom.         Freagra

3. Cóiríonn tú bord chun béile dom i láthair mo naimhde.
Ungann tú mo cheann le hola; tá mo chupa ag cur thairis.                           Freagra

4. Leanfaidh cineáltas is buanghrá mé gach lá de mo shaol;
i dteach an Tiarna a mhairfidh mé go brách na breithe.                                Freagra   

Alleluia Véarsa                       Mth 16: 18 
Alleluia, alleluia!
Deirimse leatsa gurtú Peadar agus is ar an gcarraig seo a thógfaidh mé m’eaglais,
agus ní bhuafaidh geataí ifrinn uirthi.


Go raibh an Tiarna libh.       Agus le do spiorad féin
Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir  Matha        16:13-19
Is tú Peadar agus tabharfaidh mé duit eochracha ríocht na bhflaitheas.

Ar theacht isteach i gceantar Chéasaráia Philib dó, d’fhiafraigh Íosa dá chuid deisceabal:
Cé hé a deir na daoine Mac an Duine?”
Dúirt siad:
Deir cuid acu Eoin Baiste; cuid eile acu Éilias; tuilleadh acu Irimia nó duine de na fáithe.”
Dúirt sé leo:
Ach cé a deir sibhse mé?”
Dúirt Síomón Peadar á fhreagairt:
“Is tú an Críost, Mac Dé bheo.”

D’fhreagair Íosa agus dúirt sé leis:
Is méanar duit, a Shíomóin Bar Ióna, óir ní fuil agus feoil a d’fhoilsigh duit é ach m’Athair atá ar neamh. Agus deirimse leatsa gur tú Peadar agus is ar an gcarraig seo a thógfaidh mé m’eaglais, agus ní bhuafaidh geataí ifrinn uirthi. Agus tabharfaidh mé duit eochracha ríocht na bhflaitheas; rud ar bith a cheanglaíonn tú ar talamh beidh sé ceangailte ar neamh, agus rud ar bith a scaoileann tú ar talamh beidh sé scaoilte ar neamh.”

Soiscéal an Tiarna.      Moladh duit, a Chriost

© An Sagart
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 25th February, 2024

Second Sunday of Lent     Year 2

God sacrifices his own Son as part of the plan of salvation of the world. Calvary is a sign of God’s love for us.
This story of Abraham’s sacrifice will be told again at the Easter Vigil as a preparation for Baptism.


A reading from the book of  Genesis     22:1-2.9-13.15-18
The sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith.

od put Abraham to the test. 'Abraham, Abraham' he called. 'Here I am' he replied.
'Take your son,' God said 'your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.'

When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood. Then he stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.

thesacrifice-of-isaacBut the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. 'Abraham, Abraham' he said. 'I am here' he replied.
'Do not raise your hand against the boy' the angel said.
'Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.' Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son.

The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven.
'I swear by my own self - it is the Lord who speaks - because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.'

The Word of the Lord         Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm      Ps  115
Response                            I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

1. I trusted, even when I said: 'I am sorely afflicted.'
O precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful.              Response

2. Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make: I will call on the Lord's name.          Response

3. My vows to the Lord I will fulfil before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem.  Response


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans              8:31.34
God did not spare his own Son.

God'd love 2With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us-he rose from the dead, and there at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us.

The Word of the Lord.            Thanks be to God

Gospel  Acclamation         Mt 17:5
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
From the bright cloud the Father's voice was heard
'This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.'
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !


The Lord be with you .            And with your spirit
A reading from the Gospel according to Mark  9:2-10           Glory to you, O Lord
This is my Son, the Beloved.

esus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in This is my sontheir presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them.
Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. 'Rabbi', he said it is wonderful for us to be here;
so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.'
He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud,
'This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.' Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

As they came down the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what 'rising from the dead' could mean.

The Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


For homily resources for this Sunday's Gospel click here:  https://www.catholicireland.net/sunday-homily/

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 25th February, 2024

Sliocht as an céad leabhar Genesis                     22:1-2. 9-13. 15-18
Íobairt Abráhám, ár n-athair sa chreideamh.

Tamall ina dhiaidh sin chuir Dia promhadh ar Abrahám: “A Abrahám, a Abrahám,” ar sé. “Anseo dom,” ar seisean.
Tóg leat do mhac,” arsa Dia leis, “d’aonmhac Íosác ar a bhfuil do ghreann, agus imigh go tír Mhoiriá, agus déan é a íobairt ansiúd ina íobairt dhóite ar chnoc a thaispeánfaidh mé duit.”

Nuair a shroicheadar an áit a thaispeáin Dia dó, thóg Abrahám altóir ann agus chóirigh an t-adhmad uirthi. Chuir sé ceangal faoina mhac agus leag ar an altóir é, anuas ar an adhmad. Shín Abrahám a lámh amach, agus rug greim ar an scian chun a mhac a mharú.

thesacrifice-of-isaacAch ghlaoigh aingeal an Tiarna air ó neamh agus dúirt: “A Abrahám, a Abrahám.” Dúirt sé: “Anseo dom.”
Dúirt sé: “Ná leag lámh ar do mhac, agus ná déan aon dochar dó; óir tá a fhios agam anois go bhfuil eagla Dé ort, mar níor dhiúltaigh tú do mhac, d’aonmhac, dom.”
Ansin d’ardaigh Abrahám a shúile agus féach, laistiar de bhí reithe agus a adharca in achrann i dtor; thóg Abrahám an reithe agus d’ofráil é mar íobairt dhóite in áit a mhic.

Agus ghlaoigh aingeal an Tiarna ar Abrahám athuair ó neamh:  “Mhionnaigh mé dar mise féin – focail an Tiarna iad seo – ós rud é go ndearna tú an rud seo agus nár dhiúltaigh tú do mhac, d’aonmhac féin, dom, dáilfidh mé na frasa beannachtaí uaim anuas ort. Cuirfidh mé an rath ar do shíol ionas go mbeidh siad líonmhar mar réaltaí neimhe nó mar ghaineamh na trá; agus beidh seilbh ag do shliocht ar gheataí [cathrach] do naimhde. Beannóidh ciníocha uile an domhain iad féin dar do shliocht mar gur ghéill tú do mo ghlór.”

Briathar an Tiarna                      Buíochas le Dia

Salm le Freagra                    Sm 115
Freagra:                                    Siúlfaidh me i bhfianaise an Tiarna i ndúiche na mbeo.

1. Bhí muinín agam fiú nuair a dúirt mé: 'Táim do mo bhuaireamh go mór.'
Is luachmhar i bhfianaise an Tiarna bás a chuid naomh.                               Freagra

2. A Thiarna, is mise do ghiolla; scaoil tú mo chuibhreacha díom.
Ofrálfaidh mé duit íobairt an mholta, gairfidh mé ar ainm an Tiarna.       Freagra

3. Comhlíonfaidh mé ar mhóidigh mé don Tiarna i láthair a phobail go léir,
i gcúirteanna theach an Tiarna, i do lár baill, a Iarúsailéim                         Freagra

DARA LÉACT         

Sliocht as litir NaomhPól chuig na Rómhánaigh              8:31-34
Níor lig Dia uaidh a Mhac Féin.

God'd love 2A bhráithre, má tá Dia ar ár dtaobh, cé atá inár gcoinne?
Nuair nár lig sé uaidh a mhac féin ach é a thabhairt suas ar mhaithe linne go léir, cén fáth nach mbronnfaidh sé gach grásta eile orainn ina theannta chomh maith?  Agus cé a dhéanfaidh lucht tofa Dé a chúisiú? Nuair atá Dia dár saoradh, cé a dhéanfaidh ár ndaoradh? An é Críost a dhéanfaidh é, an té a fuair bás agus a tógadh ó mhairbh, atá fós ar dheis Dé agus atá ag idirghuí ar ár son?

Briathar an Tiarna                                 Buíochas le Dia

Comhgháir an tSoiscéil                 Mth 17:5

Glóir duit, a Chríost: is tú Briathar De!
Cloiseadh glór an Athar as an scamall solasmhar:

'Is é seo mo Mhac muirneach dár thug mé gnaoi: éistigí leis.'
Glóir duit, a Chríost: is tú Briathar De!


Go raibh an Tiarna libh.                  Agus le do spiorad féin
Sliocht as Soiscéal naofa de réir   Marcas 9:2-10              Glóir duit, a Thiarna.
Is é seo mo Mhac muirneach.

San am sin rug Íosa leis Peadar, Séamas agus Eoin, agus sheol sé suas iad sliabh ard ar leithligh. Agus tháinig claochlú air os comhair a This is my sonsúl, agus d’éirigh a chuid éadaigh dealrach, iad gléigeal thar cuimse, nach bhfuil úcaire ar domhan a dhéanfadh chomh geal iad. Agus chonacthas dóibh Maois mar aon le hÉilias agus iad ag comhrá leis.
Agus labhair Peadar le hÍosa: “A Mháistir, “ ar sé, “is maith mar a tharla anseo sinn: déanaimis trí bothanna, ceann duit féin, ceann do Mhaois agus ceann d’Éilias” – mar ní raibh a fhios aige cad ba mhaith dó a rá óir tháinig uamhan orthu. #

Agus tháinig scamall ina scáil anuas orthu, agus an glór as an scamall:
Is é seo mo Mhac muirneach dár thug mé gnaoi: éistigí leis!”
Agus go tobann, ar dhearcadh dóibh ina dtimpeall, ní fhaca siad duine ar bith níos mó ach Íosa in éineacht leo ina aonar.

Ar a slí anuas dóibh ón sliabh, chuir sé mar acht orthu gan a raibh feicthe acu a insint do dhuine ar bith nó go mbeadh Mac an Duine éirithe ó mhairbh. Agus choinnigh siad an scéal chucu féin ach go mbídís ag fiafraí dá chéile cad ba chiall leis an éirí úd ó mhairbh.

Soiscéal an Tiarna.        Moladh duit, a Chriost

Machtnamh ar Bhriathar Dé dia Dara Domhnach den Charghas

Is iontach linn a bheith anseo

Tógann Íosa Peter, Seamus agus Eoin árd ar an tsléibh Tabor, agus tugann sé taithí iontach leó a thugann a n-anáil amach. Bhí sé mar thaithí chomh luachmhar nach bhféadfadh Peter é a ligeant as a mheabhair, coíche. Bhí sé ag iarraidh é a éascú ar feadh tréimhse éiginnte agus mar sin deir sé le Íosa, 'Rabbi. . . lig dúinn trí phubaill a dhéanamh, ceann ar do shon, ceann do Mhaois agus ceann do Elijah '. Bhí léargas mór aige ar an áilleacht neamhaí Chríost sé féin agus an dá dheisceabail eile, agus ní raibh sé ag iarraidh ligean dó. Meallann an áilleacht an tsúil agus an croí; glaonna sé chugainn. Ach, ní mór do Peter agus do na daoine eile an taithí luachmhar seo a ligean; ní raibh sé i gceist ach a bheith i láthair na huaire. Gheobhaidh siad é ar ais sa chéad uair eile mar bhronntanas. Ar a shon sin, bhí an tasc acu éisteacht le Íosa, 'Is é seo mo Mhac beloved. Éist leis '. Is é sin ár tasc freisin. Caitheamar ár saol ag éisteacht leis an Tiarna mar a labhraíonn sé linn ina fhocal agus i gcúinsí ár saol; éisteacht leis mar ullmhúchán don mhéid iontach sin nuair a fheiceann muid aghaidh le duine i gcónaí agus is féidir linn a rá go deireanach, 'tá sé iontach a bheith anseo.'

Pádraig Ó Rúairí, cp,                                                                                                                                                                  Sliabh Argus, Átha Cliath.