...How well did we listen to that Gospel? “And to you Peter, I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, make sure you understand how significant this passage is. When He gives Peter the keys to heaven, did you realize that He didn’t say “Whatever happens in heaven, I want you to do it on earth.”? It’s just the opposite.They’re so important that whatever you do here on earth is how I will handle it here in heaven. Oh yes, the Holy Spirit will come so you know the understandings of heaven, but it will begin here, and whatever you bind here will be bound, and whatever you leave loose, Peter, so will it be up above. My brothers and sisters in Christ, he has the keys, and they’re temporary because it’s the same way it was in the Old Testament with Isaiah. My brothers and sisters in Christ, did Eliakim not get the keys from someone else, and he too passed them on, hence why Peter will pass them on? Peter, Linus, Cletus, Evaristus, Alexander, Telesphorus, Hyginus, Pius, all the way to Francis. My brothers and sisters in Christ, this isn’t one and done. Now, He changes Peter’s name. That’s hugely significant to you and I because only a handful of people in Scripture had their name changed, and it was always very significant. Abram, which in their language would mean ‘exalted father’, is now called Abraham, the father of the multitudes. He goes from a very little, if not non-existent, family to the family of multitudes. My brothers and sisters in Christ, Jacob to Israel, Saul to Paul, Simon to Peter, everybody knows that that name change is significant. This is why popes change their names, because ontologically they are changed to the vicar of Christ.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, if you and I were to go back in Scripture, the key to peace in the world was always Jesus Christ. It was back then and it still is today. When Moses and his people were about to cross the Red Sea, the soldiers and the chariots were coming, and he is caught between the soldiers and the water. The only way he brings peace is to pray to God and ask for help, for His intercession. The key to peace for Moses was God the Father, and He opens up the seas, and Moses crosses over on dry land... My brothers and sisters in Christ, all the great players throughout scripture knew that their peace begins and ends with Jesus Christ, with God, with the Trinity.
2,000 years later, I think we’ve either forgotten it, or we’ve acknowledged it, we have an understanding of it, we recognize it, but we don’t participate in that peace. My brothers and sisters in Christ, look in the world that we live in, we’re in a (post) pandemic world that has lost its way. We have no moral compass. I’m telling you, there’s only one thing that will bring peace back to our world, and that’s Jesus Christ. If you and I don’t find our knees, we will never find a way back to peace. You want peace in your family? Then you all need to start praying together. At the end of the day, it all begins and ends with Jesus Christ and the Eucharist. If you do not have Him in your life, you will never have peace. You got a problem at work? Then pray before you get there. Pray when you wake up in the morning. Okay, after you have your cup of coffee, now go pray. Pick a spot in your house for just a minute before you turn on the television. What are you looking for? Good news? Come on. My brothers and sisters in Christ, if you want bad news just wait for it. Watch the news at the end of the day. Remember, it’s got to begin and end with Christ.
I’ll leave you with this: My brothers and sisters in Christ, in C.S Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, there’s a story about Lucifer talking to his son, and his son says “Pop, them people, I got them! Them people in Amite, I got them! I’ma get that group on pride! I’m gonna get that little group right there on anger! I’m gonna get the group in the back on gluttony! Hoo man, that group over there, man, that’s lust! I’m gonna get this group over here, that’s avarice, sloth, money, and then I’m gonna get this group on envy!” Lucifer said “Son, you’re not very bright. All you got to do is steal their peace and you’ll get them all.”
John Paul II is right. To all the problems of the world the Eucharist is the solution. That’s the key.