"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 loose in heaven."Matthew 16:13-20
In this week's Gospel, Jesus stood against the backdrop of the pagan Greek god, Pan (the half man-goat god of flocks and shepherds), at Caesarea Philippi and questioned his disciples, "Who do you say I am?" It was Peter's answer that led Jesus to proclaim him as the steward of his kingdom.
In ancient times, the steward of the kingdom is equivalent to the modern context of the prime minister. He possesses the keys to rule in the absence of the king and Peter being the appointed chief steward by Jesus, led the Church in Jesus' physical absence.
The image of St Peter as chief steward has provoked many humourous comic strips such as being the security guard at the heavenly gates. It also gives people a dread image of St Peter rejecting people and turning them to hell.
However, the role of St Peter as the chief steward is also a blessed (happy) role! He has the role to bring people to know, to love and to serve Jesus.
We all share in Peter's confession, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." As such, we also share in this role of Peter - bringing people to know, love and to serve Jesus.
How are you bringing this role into your life this week?