Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

8/13/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In King Christ's kingdom the steward holds the power and authority of the monarch and exercises that authority in his absence and by his specific delegation

The Catholic Church is not only established on the Rock of Peter by Jesus Christ himself, but it has divine origins in that the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to recognize the Christ. He was also inspired to pick up this role and be the key preacher at Pentecost and the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of God. The role is a successive one, and his successor lives today just a few hundred yards from where Peter himself was martyred and buried, and you can see him there exercising his role as steward of the faith and steward of the mysteries of God.

Pope Benedict XVI, the successor of Peter, bowing before an Icon of the King of Kings

Pope Benedict XVI, the successor of Peter, bowing before an Icon of the King of Kings

Highlights

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/13/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: papacy, pope, authority, Peter, Authority, Magisterium, Pope Benedict, Fr Dwight Longenecker


GREENVILLE,SC (Catholic Online) - With the London Olympics it's all eyes on Britain, and the unique relationship between the British monarch and the government makes a great illustration of the foundation of the Catholic faith.

In the famous passage where Jesus says Peter is the rock on which he will build his church (Matt. 16:18), Jesus quotes a verse from  the Old Testament. In Isaiah 22 the prophet says that the Lord will take the office of steward from Shebna and give it to Eliakim. The steward is the king's right hand man. The one to whom he delegates authority.

The office of steward was like that of Prime Minister. In England the Prime Minister is asked to form a government by HM Queen Elizabeth II. Officially he has no power until he takes a car to Buckingham Palace and meets the Queen in person and she personally and formally delegates her authority to him.

The steward of the King in the prophet Isaiah bears a similar office. He wears an official robe and sash conferring the dignity of his office and on the sash are the keys to the kingdom. The steward has the keys to the palace, the keys to the city gate, the keys to the treasury, the keys to the armory, the keys to the prison, the keys to the all the power and wealth of the kingdom. Whatever he opens is open. Whatever he binds is bound.

Jesus' disciples would have understood perfectly his reference back to Isaiah 22 and would have understood clearly that he was making Peter the Steward of his Kingdom, the Viceroy, Prime Minister Peter.

In King Christ's kingdom the steward holds the power and authority of the monarch and exercises that authority in his absence and by his specific delegation. The Old Testament passage also indicates that this is not simply a position of power and prestige, but the steward is to be known as "the Father of the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Jerusalem is the holy city, and as the Hebrew monarch was also the head of the religion, the steward would also have played a religious role and, if you like, could be called, "Holy Father."

The interesting thing in both passages is that this authority is divinely given. It is not a human invention. The prophet Isaiah says the Lord will put down Shebna and raise up Eliakim to bear the authority of the King. In the gospel, Prime Minister Peter's authority is based on his confession of Jesus Christ as the Anointed Son of God, and Jesus recognizes that this inspiration and insight was given to Peter by God. It was not just a good idea, a theory or a human invention.

Protestants say that churches are man made institutions. We have to agree with them. Their churches are man made. The Catholic Church, however, claims something far more stupendous and wonderful-that she is not a man made institution. The Catholic Church is not only established on the Rock of Peter by Jesus Christ himself, but it has divine origins in that the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to recognize the Christ. He was also inspired to pick up this role and be the key preacher at Pentecost and the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of God.

Unfortunately too many Catholics forget the divine origin of the Catholic Church and fall into Protestant speak. So they say of the church's dogma or moral teachings, "Yeah, well, those are just man made rules." Are they? The church does distinguish between matters of church discipline which are man made rules. These can be dispensed by the proper authority. However, the dogmas of the church and the moral teaching of the church are not man made, and Catholics don't really have the liberty to pick and choose which they like.

Instead we remember that the church is founded on Prime Minister Peter. The role is a successive one, and his successor lives today just a few hundred yards from where Peter himself was martyred and buried, and you can see him there exercising his role as steward of the faith and steward of the mysteries of God.

His name isn't Peter this time. It is our Holy Father Benedict.

-----
Fr Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He is author of many articles and books on the Catholic faith. Visit his website and blog at www.dwightlongenecker.com

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Living Faith

St Francis DeSales Challenges Us to Live a Life of True Devotion Watch

Image of Today in our Liturgical calendar in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we remember St Francis DeSales (1567-1610). The Saints are all given as examples to emulate. They are our companions on the journey, men and women like us who responded to God's invitation to become like Jesus. They pray for us because we are joined with them in the eternal communion of love. They also put legs on the Gospel, showing us what holiness looks like.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I say that devotion must be practiced in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of ... continue reading


Hey Main Stream Media - Do Your Job! Media Bias on March for Life Watch

Image of The hundreds of thousands who gatherred in Washington, DC were virtually ignored by the mainstream media because they gave a voice to children in the womb intentionally killed by procured abortion

By Catherine Contreras

What do you get when over 500,000 people attend the March for Life in Washington DC? Yup. A biased main stream media barely covering it, again. OAKLAND, CA (Catholic Online) - On the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in ... continue reading


Arlington Diocesan teachers provide English Language Learners with special support Watch

Image of Fourth-grade students work on personalized language arts activities at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington. (Christine Stoddard, The Arlington Catholic Herald)

By Christine Stoddard, The Arlington Catholic Herald

Step into Sarah Conrad's pre-kindergarten classroom at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington and you'll see the usual suspects: tiny furniture, storybooks, brightly colored posters and educational toys. But you'll also notice that laminated labels abound. ... continue reading


'Self righteousness is not going to change peoples' attitudes and save babies,' Cardinal says Watch

Image of Cardinal Sean O'Malley says that the abortion issue in the United States is a call for those of all faiths to action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In delivering his homily at the March for Life vigil in Washington D.C., Cardinal Sean O'Malley said that indifference is the "greatest enemy" of the pro-life movement, adding that "to change people's hearts we must love them." Speaking at the Basilica of the ... continue reading


Eighth Annual Stand Up 4 Life Rally|Walk in Oakland, California! Watch

Image of Walk for Life in California

By Catherine Contreras

"If Black lives matter, they have to matter in the womb first. Because if Black lives don't matter in the womb, they don't matter anywhere else. So join us and help us speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." - Walter B. Hoye II, Founder and President of ... continue reading


Papal Nuncio to Join Walk for Life West Coast! Watch

Image of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigaṇ

By Catherine Contreras

The Walk for Life West Coast is honored to announce that Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganĂ², the Holy Father's Ambassador to the United States, will be attending the 11th Annual Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, on January 24, 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Build a Culture of Life! A Rally Cry Was Heard In Los Angeles!

Image of Pro-lifers marched in One Life LA on January 17, 2015.

By Catherine Contreras

 A Rally Cry Was Heard in Los Angeles, California, "Build a Culture of Life! A Culture That Loves Life and That Defends Life!" The Mission of OneLifeLA is to unite communities and inspire positive action through an annual event that promotes the beauty and ... continue reading


Catholics fail to practice 'responsible parenthood' when they have too many children, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis recently praised Blessed Paul VI for defending Catholic teaching against contraception. At the same time, "this does not mean a Christian must make children one after another," the Pope added. In fact, Catholics fail to practice "responsible ... continue reading


Pope Francis confirms stops in Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia in upcoming U.S. visit Watch

Image of The papal itinerary remains in the planning stages. Organizers are already talking about appearances at the White House, the United Nations and Ground Zero, and even a Mass at Madison Square Garden.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has confirmed that his trip to the United States this fall will include stops in Washington, D.C. and New York City, in addition to Philadelphia. Francis told the press that he wishes he could enter the U.S. through the Mexican border "as a sign of ... continue reading


Announcing Ignatius Press books at Catholic Shopping .com - Start your Catholic library today!

Image of Catholic Shopping .com is proud to announce, that we are now carrying a wide selection of Ignatius Press's most popular books.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Discriminating Catholic readers will be excited to know Catholic Shopping .com now carries a wide selection of the best books from Ignatius Press. LOS ANGELES, CA - The story of Ignatius Press is one that began over thirty years ago, and a story that has not ended ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:22-30
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 26th, 2015 Image

St. Timothy
January 26: Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter