The Chair of St. Peter

Most of the apostles and lots of saints have their own feast day, but there is no “Feast of St. Peter.” Today (February 22) the Church celebrates the “Chair of Peter” the sign that Peter was the first among the apostles and the one designated to lead the early Church after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension. For the record, Peter is not alone. St. Paul does not have a “Feast of St. Paul.” We celebrate these great saints together in a single celebration, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

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Jonah – the word came

This is the word of the LORD that came to Jonah, son of Amittai (Jonah 1:1)

Such is the traditional opening of God reaching out to communicate the divine will to a prophet. The 1st century hearers would have been attuned to the opening and then jolted by the verse’s end: Jonah son of Amittai. Nationalistic feelings ran deep in their memory. This name brought to mind the prophet of the Northern Kingdom, which had seceded from Judah and Davidic rule after the reign of Solomon. Unlike the prophets Amos and Hosea, Jonah did not rage against the sins and misdeed to tribes to the north and their rebel kings. Rather he prophesized the expansion of the rebel kingdom’s frontiers under King Jeroboam II, the thirteenth king of the north (mid-8th century BCE): Continue reading